International cricket has returned to normalcy with bilateral series commencing post the ODI World Cup that saw Australia lift the trophy for the sixth time. Test cricket has also marked its comeback after a long time with Bangladesh hosting New Zealand for two Tests and soon Pakistan will also embark on their tour to Australia where they will play three Tests.

With Babar Azam stepping down from captaincy across all formats, Pakistan have new captain in Shan Masood in Tests and his first assignment is a tough one down under. Meanwhile, Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has promoted Masood from category D to category B as he is named the skipper in red-ball cricket. The decision is in line with the board's policy that the player below category B, if appointed captain, will be promoted to either of the top two categories for the amount of time he/she is at the helm.

"The PCB

has decided to upgrade Pakistan Test captain Shan Masood's category in the central contract list from D to B. The decision has been made in line with board's policy that if a centrally contracted player below A or B categories is appointed captain, their contract shall be upgraded to category B for the tenure of their captaincy," PCB said in the official release. Shan Masood will now be in the B category in the centrally contracted list as he has been named the skipper until the end of the World Test Championship cycle (2023-25).

As far as Pakistan's tour down under is concerned, they are scheduled to play a practice game against Prime Minister's XI starting from December 6 at the Manuka Oval in Canberra. The first of the three-match Test series will begin from December 14 in Perth while the next two Tests will be played in Melbourne and Sydney as they are Boxing Day and New Year Tests respectively.
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