Endless summer awaits BLACKCAPS/WHITE FERNS fans

Cricket fans can look forward to one of the biggest home international programmes in New Zealand history this summer with visits from England, India, Australia, the South African women’s side, and India A.

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The unprecedented wealth of riches will include a full tour from India, a new Test venue in Mt Maunganui’s Bay Oval, five short-form games at Eden Park and the novelty of scheduling four of the five T20s against England as family-friendly afternoon games.

The international summer will start early, with England arriving in late October ahead of playing five T20s and two Tests – the first at Bay Oval, which will become New Zealand’s ninth Test venue.

The BLACKCAPS return home after playing a three Test series in Australia to prepare for the arrival of India in late January, a blockbuster of a tour which includes five T20s, three ODIs and two Tests, to be played at the Basin Reserve and Hagley Oval, respectively.

Features of this visit include a World Test Championship clash between the World No.1 and No.2 ranked sides, and the return to Eden Park for an intensive period of white ball cricket which also incorporates two ODIs between the WHITE FERNS and South Africa on the Outer Oval.

The BLACKCAPS will also see a lot of Australia over the duration of the summer; travelling across the Tasman for a Test series in December-January, and again for an ODI series in March, before hosting a three-match T20 series at the end of the season.

The WHITE FERNS will prepare for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in Australia with a visit from South Africa which includes three ODIs and five T20s – the first of which will be the second half of a WHITE FERNS/BLACKCAPS double-header at Bay Oval.

All the WHITE FERNS and BLACKCAPS fixtures will be broadcast live by NZC partners SKY Sport.
NZC’s investment in the “A” team programme will continue to build momentum when India A arrive in mid-January to play three 50-over games and two four-day “Tests” at Hagley Oval and Bert Sutcliffe Oval.

NZC chief executive David White said that, outside the two World Cups New Zealand has jointly hosted, he couldn’t recall a more significant or substantial home international programme.

“We’re simply delighted with the way it’s all fitted together,” he said.

“It speaks volumes of the regard in which the BLACKCAPS and WHITE FERNS are held that we can attract such a wealth of talent over the course of one summer.

“We’re particularly thrilled for all those involved in securing Bay Oval as New Zealand’s ninth Test venue. A lot of people have worked hard for this recognition and I’m sure the venue will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Mr White said it was also pleasing Eden Park was scheduled to hold five short-form games over the course of the summer, following a lean period of hosting international cricket in recent years.

“We take our hats off to Eden Park,” he said. “They’ve really come to the party; obtaining resource consents, offering compelling commercial terms and a reduction in match-day costs, and consistently preparing high quality wickets and outfield”.

He said the second T20 against India on Sunday, January 26 – part of a proposed festival of cricket at Eden Park along with WHITE FERNS-South Africa ODIs, was still subject to receiving resource consent from the Auckland council.

“This is a notified consent process and I’d really encourage the cricket community to make submissions in support of the game - which is scheduled for India’s Republic Day and is shaping up to be a wonderful occasion.”

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