Melbourne, Nov 13: Cricket Australia (CA) announced that the Prime Minister’s XI match against Pakistan will happen from December 6-9 at Manuka Oval. The fixture will be played in the week leading up to the first Test of the Men's Test Series between Australia and Pakistan in Perth.
The match, whose tickets have been put on sale from Monday, returns to a four-day red ball fixture after last year’s day/night pink ball match against the West Indies. Prime Minister Anthony Albanese will meet with CA Chair of Selectors, George Bailey and selector, Tony Dodemaide to discuss selection of the squad.
“Pakistan is such a proud cricketing nation. I’ve previously loved watching players like Wasim Akram and Waqar Younis steaming in with the new ball, so I’m excited the PM’s XI will face the talented Pakistan squad in Canberra. In the coming weeks, I will meet with the National Selectors to discuss what I suspect will be a strong PM’s XI,” said Albanese in a statement.
The first PM’s XI fixture was played in 1951 and will be the second under Albanese after a two-year hiatus prior to 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. It will be the third time Pakistan will face the Prime Minister’s XI after matches in 1990 and 2005 while Mr Albanese is the 10th Prime Minister to lead the team.
“We are looking forward to meeting with the Prime Minister and I’m sure those selected will be excited for the challenge of facing the quality of Pakistan. As the Australian Men's Test team continues to evolve in the short to medium term, the timing of the match comes at an important stage of the summer with five home Tests and two away in New Zealand."
"We've seen some strong individual performances to start the Sheffield Shield season and with another round left before the squad will be selected, we are looking forward to seeing players continue to put their hands up for selection. Opportunities to face international opposition like this are rare and taken seriously, and as such we are looking to select a strong and highly talented squad," said Bailey.
Pakistan will be touring Australia from December 2023 to January 2024 to play three Test matches in Perth, Melbourne (Boxing Day Test) and Sydney (New Year’s Test). Both teams will contest for the Benaud–Qadir Trophy, with the series a part of the 2023–2025 ICC World Test Championship cycle. (IANS)