Plunket Shield defending champions the Auckland Aces will begin their title defence at home against the Otago Volts on October 18 – to mark the start of New Zealand’s 2022-23 domestic cricket calendar.
Following a challenging 2021-22 season marked by widespread Covid-19 disruptions, NZC has announced full programmes for the Plunket Shield, Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, and Ford Trophy competitions, in total spanning six months from October to the end of March 2023.
The women’s and men’s 2022-23 Dream11 Super Smash draw, starting December 23, is expected to be announced at the end of this month.
The formats and playing conditions for all competitions will largely revert to those employed before last season, although the provision to allow full substitutes for players who test positive to Covid-19 will remain.
The Hallyburton Johnstone Shield (won last season by the Otago Sparks) will start on November 19 with the final set down for March 4, while the Ford Trophy (currently held by the Auckland Aces) will commence on November 22 and include an elimination final on February 17, ahead of a grand final two days later.
Both the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and Ford Trophy finals will be played at the John Davies Oval, in Queenstown.
NZC’s GM Cricket Operations Catherine Campbell said NZC and the six Major Associations would retain the flexibility to react to any emergency situation, caused by Covid-19 or otherwise, but were hopeful of an uninterrupted summer.
“We’re all looking forward to a full season of domestic cricket being played across the country, from Whangarei in the north to Queenstown and Dunedin in the south,” she said.
“With the home international fixtures and the Dream11 Super Smash added, Kiwi cricket fans will have plenty to keep them interested, from the start of October to early April, 2023.”