Cricket: Blackcaps touch down in Karachi before long-awaited return tour of Pakistan – Newshub

Blackcaps fast bowlers Matt Henry and Neil Wagner. Credits: Photo – Getty Images; Video – Newshub
It is a trip that’s taken two decades to make happen, and the Blackcaps have finally arrived for it.
Fifteen months after they were whisked away after a threat was made against them, the squad has landed in Pakistan before the start of their tour – beginning with the first test on Boxing Day.
And while so far it’s been smiles and waves, they’re well aware that’s not going to last.
Taking their first steps on a tour almostĀ  20 years in the making, the Blackcaps arrived in Pakistan on Friday morning to a welcome far warmer than the farewell they had 15 months ago.
"Coming around here and seeing the excitement on all of their faces to have test cricket here is pretty exciting," Blackcaps pace bowler Neil Wagner said.
Last year’s tour was abandoned after a "specific and credible security threat" was made against them on the morning of the first match.
The 2002 tour was also cut short after a bomb blast killed 14 people outside the team hotel in Karachi.
Hopefully, those incidents can now be relegated to history.
"Everything is pretty new to us so hopefully we hit the ground running and assess what’s in front of us, and enjoy the challenge ahead," Wagner said.
And while the greetings so far have been genial and jovial, they’re aware of the hostilities they’ll face in just a few days.
It’s a Pakistan team determined to wipe the mud off their faces after being embarrassed at home by a resurgent England team reinventing the way test cricket’s played.
"England played quite an exciting brand of cricket and it was quite positive, was quite nice to see some of the stuff they’ve done and given us a bit of an insight into what to expect in that sort of way," Wagner said.
And they’ll have the chance to show that, in just three days, when Boxing Day cricket, and the Blackcaps finally return to action in Pakistan.


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