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To celebrate Australia’s first Test series in Pakistan in 24 years, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket Australia (CA) on Wednesday announced the introduction of the Benaud-Qadir Trophy.

From now on, every Test series played between the two countries will be named after the two legendary spinners, the cricket board said in a statement.

Test captains of both teams, Babar Azam and Pat Cummins unveiled the Benaud-Qadir Trophy at the Pindi Cricket Stadium ahead of the first Test, which commences on Friday.

The trophy will be presented to the winning side at the headquarters of Pakistan cricket in Lahore, where the three-Test series is set to culminate.

“Benaud and Qadir were two skillful, distinguished, and immensely respected cricketers of different eras, who served the game with honour, pride, and distinction. Benaud got wrist-spin bowling noticed and recognised as an attacking and wicket-taking option, an art that was subsequently taken to the next level by Qadir with some incredible performances against high-quality batters at a time when express fast bowlers were ruling the roost,” the statement added.

Rivalry renewed: Five memorable Pakistan-Australia clashes

Benaud captained Australia on the team’s first full tour to Pakistan in 1959 and won the series 2-0, while Qadir played in 11 Tests against Australia in which he took 45 wickets, including 33 wickets in two three-Test series in 1982 and 1988 against Kim Hughes and Allan Border’s sides, respectively.

Individually, in 63 Tests from 1952 to 1964, Benaud took 248 wickets, whereas Qadir made his Test debut in 1977 and finished in 1990 with 236 wickets in 67 Tests. For their respective heroics, achievements, and accomplishments, Benaud was inducted into the ICC Hall of Fame in 2009, while Qadir was included in the PCB Hall of Fame in 2021.

Welcoming the decision, Pakistan skipper, Babar said: “Because of such individuals and their legacies, the game is now healthy, wealthy, and strong; as such, we must always recognise and acknowledge their contribution and services”.

In his comments, the Aussie skipper said they have their eyes set on the Benaud-Qadir Trophy, adding that his team will have to work hard to win the series.

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