Black Caps home summer schedule revealed

Section
News,
Publish Date
Tuesday, 31 July 2018, 3:17PM
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By: David Leggat

Eden Park will host just two men's limited-overs internationals next summer out of 40 days of cricket.

New Zealand will play Sri Lanka in a T20 on January 11, starting at 7pm, and India in another T20, also starting at 7pm on February 8.

The time is important. Star Sports, New Zealand Cricket's broadcast partners, insisted games begin an hour later than usual to better accomodate the vast Indian market. They relented for the T20 match but every other game on the eight-match tour will start at 8pm.

Eden Park's restrictions around hosting night events have hurt NZC's ambitions to have more matches in Auckland and that will only heighten the determination to get the game's base moved to Western Springs, which is a key part of Auckland council's venue development strategy.

That involves rotating various sports around the city to what they feel are more appropriate locations. NZC support the proposed move.

"NZC would've liked to have scheduled more India matches at Eden Park but was unable to do so because of restrictions at the venue,'' NZC chief operating officer Anthony Crummy said.

"Star have been fantastic through the process. They are really important partners for us.

"We want to get the right balance to maximise the amount of people who can watch the games in India, but also so we can maximise them here as well.

"But with the ODIs it was a stretch too far."

Eden Park isn't a regular holiday venue but there was a determination to have a Sri Lankan T20 in Auckland, at least as part compensation over the Indian timing issue.

The five tests next summer will be played at Wellington's Basin Reserve (two), Hagley Oval in Christchurch (also two) and Hamilton's Seddon Park.

Tauranga's hopes of hosting a five-dayer at Bay Oval have been dashed, as have the ambitions of hosting a second day-night test during the summer, to follow the England test at Eden Park last season.

Bangladesh, the second of the test visitors, turned down the chance on the grounds they wouldn't have had sufficient preparation.

If they had agreed, it would have been played at Seddon Park.

Bay Oval's compensation for that blow is to host two ODIs against the Sri Lankans just after New Year, two more against India and an ODI in the Indian women's tour to play the White Ferns. They'll also host a four-day India A-New Zealand A fixture, plus three 50-over games between the teams.

"Bay Oval is a fantastic venue but still a relatively young venue with the amount of first-class cricket it's had," Crummy said.

"It may well be a test venue in the future but with the timing of them we decided to go with traditional venues.

"It's certainly going to play a huge role. They are a key venue for us."

There will be three double headers featuring the two national teams — T20s at Wellington's Westpac Stadium on Waitangi Day, at Eden Park two days later and Seddon Park on February 10.

Sri Lanka will play two tests, three ODIs and a solitary T20; India have five ODIs and three T20s; while Bangladesh wrap up the international season with three ODIs and three tests.
There's good news for Napier, with McLean Park back on the schedule after significant ground repairs following the washed international against Australia in February last year.

Napier missed out on hosting a game last season but this time will host an ODI against each of India, Bangladesh and the Indian women.

All six White Ferns games will be televised live, a first for the women's team.

Lack of lights in the South Island have hindered options and Dunedin and Nelson will host just a solitary ODI apiece, while Christchurch has two tests but no short form matches.

In addition, the Indian-centric feel to the summer includes three four-day fixtures — at Mount Maunganui, Seddon Park and Whangarei's Cobham Oval, and three 50-over matches, all at the Mount. That is hoped to signal the start of more A form cricket, as indicated in the NZC-Players' Association master agreement announced last week.

Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have recently had encouraging results.

Sri Lanka thumped South Africa 2-0 in their home test series, by 278 and 199 runs, while Bangladesh beat the West Indies in the Caribbean in their ODI series last week, their first series win away from home for nine years.

"We think it's another strong schedule in which we've continued the philosophy of taking international cricket to some of our most popular boutique grounds over the school holiday period," Crummy said.

New Zealand international schedule for coming season:
Men
v Sri Lanka:
Dec 15-19: First test, Basin Reserve
Dec 26-30: Second test, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
Jan 3: First ODI, Bay Oval, Tauranga
Jan 5: Second ODI, Bay Oval
Jan 8: Third ODI, Nelson
Jan 11: First T20: Eden Park

v India:
Jan 23: First ODI, Napier
Jan 26: Second ODI, Bay Oval
Jan 28: Third ODI, Bay Oval
Jan 31: Fourth ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
Feb 3: Fifth ODI, Wellington
Feb 6: First T20, Wellington
Feb 8: Second T20, Eden Park
Feb 10: Third T20, Seddon Park

v Bangladesh: 
Feb 13: First ODI, Napier
Feb 16: Second ODI, Christchurch
Feb 20: Third ODI, Dunedin
Feb 28-March 4: First test, Seddon Park
March 8-12: Second test, Basin Reserve
March 16-20: Third test, Christchurch

Women:
v India:
Jan 24: First ODI, Napier
Jan 29: Second ODI, Bay Oval
Feb 1: Third ODI, Seddon Park
Feb 6: First T20, Wellington
Feb 8: Second T20, Eden Park
Feb 10: Third T20, Seddon Park

This article was first published on nzherald.co.nz and is republished here with permission.