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Former Pakistan cricket team all-rounder Abdul Razzaq expressed concern at the lack of balance in the visiting New Zealand team ahead of the T20I series against Pakistan starting Friday. Some of the Kiwi players are currently in India for the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) while a few have been ruled out due to fitness concerns. In a recent interaction, Razzaq said that the national team should be a cricketer’s first priority and wondered how they acquired No-Objection Certificates (NOC).

“New Zealand should have sent a full team. Some players have gone to the IPL and some are unfit. There is not much interest in the series. In the Test series, they had a full team and there were some exciting matches. Seems like they have just sent a team depending on the situation. I have no idea how the players get a NOC when it comes to the national team. What the criteria is for the NOCs because the first priority should always be the national side,” Razzaq told Geo News.

Pakistan and New Zealand are set to square off in a five-match T20I series.

During the time when the world of cricket is taken over by Indian Premier League (IPL) fever, the New Zealand tour of Pakistan — comprising five T20Is and as many ODIs — promises some riveting international action.

Pakistan have named a star-studded T20I squad, bolstered by the return of Shaheen Afridi, who will play for the first time since the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup Final against England in November 2022.

Though he returned to international cricket after a four-month absence, Shaheen Afridi has been busy collecting silverware and breaking records in Pakistan. During the most recent Pakistan Super League, the ace pacer captained Lahore Qalandars to victory, making him the first captain to win the PSL twice.

Skipper Babar Azam, Mohammad Rizwan, Fakhar Zaman, and Haris Rauf are also back in the squad after missing the Afghanistan T20I series in Sharjah. Pakistan will be relieved to see their star T20I players back in action after they were sorely missed in their 2-1 loss to Afghanistan.

(With ANI inputs)

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