By our correspondent
LAHORE: Pakistan will make a trip Down Under later in the year to take on Australia for the Benaud-Qadir Trophy. The three Tests – part of the third World Test Championship cycle – will be played at Perth, Melbourne and Sydney in December and January.
The tour will open at the Perth Stadium on 14 December and it will mark the first instance of Pakistan playing a Test at the venue. The two teams will face off in the Boxing Day Test at the iconic Melbourne Cricket Ground from 26 till 30 December and the third and final match will be played at the Sydney Cricket Ground from 3 January, 2024. 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 to acclimatise to the conditions Down Under.
This will be Pakistan captain Babar Azam’s third Test tour of Australia. The prolific stroke-maker previously landed on the Australian soil in December 2016, under Misbah-ul-Haq’s captaincy, and November 2019, when Azhar Ali was the captain of the side.
The right-hander has 278 runs – including a century – in five Tests. On the 2019 tour, Babar scored a century in the second innings in the first Test in Brisbane and followed it up with a 97 at Adelaide.
Naseem Shah made his Pakistan debut at Brisbane in November 2019 and since has evolved as mainstay in Pakistan’s bowling line-up across all formats. The right-arm speedster has 80 wickets in 42 matches.
Pakistan last toured Australia for the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup and finished as the finalists.
The Benaud-Qadir Trophy was launched in 2022 when Australia arrived in Pakistan after 16 years for a three-Test series. Pat Cummin’s side bagged the first iteration as they bagged the series 1-0 after defeating Pakistan in Lahore in the third and final Test.
14-18 Dec: First Test, Perth Stadium
26-30 Dec: Second Test, Melbourne Cricket Ground
3-7 Jan: Third Test, Sydney Cricket Ground