Monday Sep 13, 2021
It has been 18 years since the New Zealand cricket team last toured Pakistan for a series and Matt Henry wants to make sure his trip to the country is a memorable one.
New Zealand last visited Pakistan in November 2003 when they played five ODIs.
In an interview to The News on Sunday, Henry voiced his desire to try sumptuous Pakistani food and go sightseeing in the country. "I have heard a lot about country’s offering a lot to tourists," he said.
The bowler said though the team was in isolation at the moment, it had heard a lot of talk about Pakistani food. "I am looking forward to having local cuisine of our liking. We have heard a lot about the Pakistani food and would order these once we get out of isolation," he said.
He spoke about the Men in Green, saying that their team had more experience than the Black Caps.
"The Pakistan team is an experienced one comparing to what we have got. The team has depth backed by an exciting fast bowling attack," he said, adding that Pakistan is "lucky to have the services of serious talent in fast bowling."
Of his own team, Henry said there are youngsters in the Kiwis' camp who were eager to prove themselves. He said the New Zealand players were keen on proving themselves after the dismal Bangladesh series, adding that tough conditions there had made them tough.
He rated Pakistan as tough opponents to beat at home, terming the conditions here more suitable for stroke-play to what was on offer in Bangladesh.
He said the green shirts have always been tough opponents to beat at home. However, he said New Zealand will not feel far away from home as the pitches in Pakistan were friendly for batsmen.
"We are coming out of conditions that were far tougher. Scoring runs and playing shots were never easier in Bangladesh. We expect better playing conditions in Pakistan as the wickets are suitable for stroke play," he said.
The experienced pacer rated Pakistan as a country having great love for cricket.
“Wherever they are, they love cricket. I have the experience of playing against Pakistan during the 2019 World Cup in front of a crowd that almost looked like playing in Pakistan. The fans were so enthusiastic and passionate about cricket. I would love to play in front of a sizable gathering here," he added.
He recalled the heroic century by Babar Azam, that ultimately helped Pakistan beat the Kiwis. He said Babar Azam was an exciting talent to watch.
On his team’s preparation for the T20 World Cup, Henry said it was good to start preparing for the World Cup in the region.
“We have some newcomers who really require such exposure. With more guys joining us for the series, hopefully, we would be in a far better frame of mind to make an impact in the T20 series which would be a great experience for the next month’s T20 World Cup.”