Following their abandonment of their tour to Pakistan, New Zealand players are using the ongoing Indian Premier League as preparation for next months ICC Men’s T20 World Cup.
The BlackCaps were scheduled to play five Twenty-20 International against Pakistan in Lahore after a three-match One-day International series.
The matches were to be utilised as warm-up games by both teams ahead of the mega event. However, New Zealand decided to abandon the tour on the eve of the first ODI citing security threats.
New Zealand head coach Gary Stead has said the team’s decision was “out of our hands”. Currently, he said, the players are now preparing for T20 World Cup in Dubai through IPL matches.
“The guys are now in Dubai and getting ready, and there’s the IPL that they can have a good look at, which in many ways is good preparation for them as well,” Stead told Stuff.
Stead, who was not part of the New Zealand contingent that travelled to Pakistan, believed the tour abandonment was an unfortunate event.
“It was obviously unsettling and disappointing what happened in Pakistan and we certainly feel for the Pakistan cricket fraternity and fans,” he said.
New Zealand will now play Pakistan in their Super 12 encounter at the T20 World Cup in Sharjah.
Pakistan Cricket Board chairman Ramiz Raja had said the national side should prove a point in the match and vent their anger through match-winning performance after what New Zealand did.
However, Stead said that Pakistan are hyping up what will be just another match for the New Zealanders.
“Certainly, being that it’s Pakistan, people will hype that up, but for us it’s no different to any other match we play against them,” he said.
The T20 World Cup is set to kick off on October 17 in the United Arab Emirates and Oman. Other than New Zealand, Pakistan are set to lock horns with arch-rivals India and Afghanistan in the first round of the event.