Australia will take their preparations for the upcoming Women’s World T20 to the Asian nation of Malaysia after the Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed the unusual location for October’s limited-overs series between the teams.
While Australia’s men will take on Pakistan in the United Arab Emirates the same month, Meg Lanning’s team will meet Pakistan in three one-day internationals and three T20Is at Kuala Lumpur’s Kinrara Academy Oval.
With the men’s Tests and T20Is being played in Dubai and Abu Dhabi and the new Afghan Premier League scheduled in Sharjah through October, the PCB was forced to look further afield for a venue to host what is only the second bilateral women’s series between Australia and Pakistan.
It’s the first time Australia’s women will have played in the Asian nation, which hosted the Women’s Twenty20 Asia Cup in June.
The series will kick off with three ODIs on October 18, 20 and 22, where the Southern Stars will be looking to add to their ICC Women’s One-Day Championship points tally.
Three T20Is will follow on October 25, 27 and 29, giving Australia a chance to fine-tune their 20-over game before they fly directly from Malaysia to the Caribbean for November’s World T20.
“I wasn’t sure how much cricket they played over there, but it’s a new challenge and a different environment so I’m looking forward to playing against Pakistan who are always improving,” Australia captain Meg Lanning told cricket.com.au.
“It’ll be a good lead in for us to the World T20.”
While it’s a new world for the Southern Stars, it’s certainly not the first time an Australian team has played in Malaysia.
In 1998, cricket was included in the Commonwealth Games held in Kuala Lumpur – the only time the sport has been part of the event. Steve Waugh’s team finished with the silver medal in that tournament, defeated by South Africa in the final.
And in 2006, a triangular one-day tournament (the DLF Cup) featuring India, Australia and West Indies was played at the Kinrara Academy Oval, where a team containing the likes of Ricky Ponting, Mike Hussey, Mitchell Johnson, Brett Lee and Shane Watson won the final against West Indies.
For Australia vice-captain Rachael Haynes, the unexpected venue is a chance to experience cricket in a new environment.
“I never thought I’d go to Malaysia for cricket, so it’ll be interesting to see the venue and the ground and how the locals get behind it. It’ll be nice to go somewhere different,” she said.
CommBank T20 INTLs v NZ
September 29: First T20I, North Sydney Oval, Sydney
October 1: Second T20I, Allan Border Field, Brisbane
October 5: Third T20I, Manuka Oval, Canberra