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With eye on 2022 T20 WC, Australia to tour New Zealand for T20I series

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Sydney, Nov 12 (IANS) Australia’s men’s side will travel to meet trans-Tasman rivals New Zealand for a T20 International series in March next year.

While a chance to claim the ICC T20 World Cup on Sunday (Nov 14) may stand in front of both teams, the teams have locked in a T20I series with an eye on next year’s tournament, to be hosted by Australia in October.

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New Zealand Cricket confirmed the series on Friday, locking in key international play at the backend of their home summer. On top of the tour to New Zealand, Australia will also travel to Pakistan, their first tour there since 1998.

“New Zealand’s home summer schedule has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, and we are pleased to be able to support our closest neighbour with this T20I tour,” Cricket Australia CEO Nick Hockley stated in a media release.

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“As well as supporting New Zealand Cricket to host a full summer of international cricket, it will also be a great opportunity for our men’s T20 team to ramp up their preparations ahead of our home ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in October and November next year.”

New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White said the series is a testament to the relationship between the two boards.

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“The impact of Covid-19 has meant a number of changes to our schedule — and we want to place on record our thanks to Cricket Australia for agreeing to send a team across the Tasman at such short notice.

“NZC and CA have always enjoyed a close relationship and we really appreciate the lengths they’ve gone to in order to help us.”

The matches will be the first T20Is between the teams after their meeting in Sunday’s ICC T20 World Cup final, to be held at the Dubai International Stadium.

Australia overcame a strong Pakistan side in their semifinal on Thursday, while New Zealand exacted revenge after their 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup final defeat to England, defeating Eoin Morgan’s men by five wickets, with six balls to spare.

Australia’s T20I squad for the New Zealand tour will comprise of players not required for the Test matches in Pakistan.

–IANS

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