'Been looked after really well' - Henry Nicholls opens up on playing in Pakistan

As the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 is nearing, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently announced that the New Zealand Men's cricket team will visit the country in April for a five-match T20I series.

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Henry Nicholls
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Henry Nicholls. (Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images)

As the ICC T20 World Cup 2024 is nearing, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) recently announced that the New Zealand Men's cricket team will visit the country in April for a five-match T20I series. This series, scheduled from 18th to 27th April holds crucial significance, as it will serve as a preparatory ground for the teams ahead of the marquee event.

The upcoming tour marks a significant milestone in Pakistan's efforts to rebuild its cricketing reputation and restore the confidence of international teams. In 2021, the New Zealand cricket team abruptly cancelled a tour of Pakistan due to security concerns. However, in 2023, the Blackcaps made two successful tours to the country, showing a shift in the perception of Pakistan's safety for international cricketers.

In an exclusive interview with the Times of India, New Zealand batter Henry Nicholls expressed his confidence in the safety of players in Pakistan.

"We seem to have been there a bit in the last few years. From the players' point of view, we feel incredibly safe. We've been looked after really well by Pakistan when we've been there. Each time I've been there, I felt safe and the security has been top-notch," Nicholls said.

Also read: Head coach Azhar Mahmood ahead of T20I series opener against New Zealand

New Zealand-India final and hopefully a New Zealand win: Henry Nicholls 

According to Nicholls, two key players to watch out for in the upcoming T20 World Cup are Glenn Phillips and Rachin Ravindra. Nicholls described them as young and exciting talents who have made a significant contribution to the New Zealand national team in recent times.

"It'd be interesting to see the makeup of the side, but I think, you know, certainly in the last few years, someone like Glenn Phillips has had a massive impact on the squad. He's bowling more as well. And then a name that everyone will be familiar with now, Rachin Ravindra, and the impact he's had immediately, playing for Chennai Super Kings at the moment, doing incredibly well. So, those two players probably for me are young and exciting talents that will be playing for the team for a long time, but certainly also have a big impact hopefully in this upcoming T20 World Cup," Nicholls added.

Also read: Mohammad Hafeez takes dig at Imad Wasim, Mohd Amir's inclusion in national squad

Nicholls also shared his predictions for the T20 World Cup, selecting New Zealand, India, West Indies, and England as his four semi-finalists. He expressed his hope for a New Zealand-India final, with the Blackcaps emerging victorious.

"New Zealand will be there. India as well. I think West Indies too considering it's a home tournament for them. I know a few of their franchise guys have committed to playing in the World Cup. So, I think they could certainly be a bit of a bolter. And then between the others, you know, I think probably England are looking to put their foot forward after the One-Day World Cup. We know the amount of firepower they have. So, I'd say those four would probably be my contenders. A New Zealand-India final and hopefully a New Zealand win," he concluded.

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