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Pakistan to play three Tests in Australia this year

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LAHORE: Pakistan are set to tour Australia for three Test matches by the end of this year, with the games to be contested as part of the 2023-25 World Test Championship cycle.

According to the fixtures of the Benaud Qadir Trophy — released by Cricket Australia and the Pakistan Cricket Board on Sunday — the Babar Azam-led unit will take on the hosts in the first Test at the Perth Stadium from December 14.

The second Test will be an iconic Boxing Day encounter at the Melbo­urne Cricket Stadium before the series concludes with the third match from January 3 in Sydney.

Pakistan have played 10 Tests at the MCG and eight at the SCG — at both venues they have won two matches each. In the lead-up to the series, Pakistan will play a four-day warm-up match to acclimatise to the conditions Down Under.

The series will be Pakistan’s second of the new WTC cycle, which starts with the side’s two-match Test tour of Sri Lanka in July.

The Benaud-Qadir Trophy was launched in 2022 when Australia toured in Pakistan after 16 years for a three-Test series. Pat Cummin’s side bagged the first iteration as they won the series 1-0 after defeating Pakistan in Lahore in the third and final Test.

The Pakistan Tests will be preceded by West Indies’ tour to Australia, which will feature two Tests from January 17-29.

The first Test of the West Indies series will be in Adelaide, before the teams travel to Brisbane for a day-night Test.

Australia will play three one-dayers and three Twenty20 matches against the West Indies in February, in the build-up to next year’s T20 World Cup in the United States and West Indies.

Published in Dawn, May 15th, 2023

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