September 29 (India Today) – International cricket is all set to return to New Zealand after 7 months with T20I and Test series against West Indies and Pakistan next month, the country’s cricket board announced on Tuesday.
New Zealand cricket announced its revised schedule for the 2020 home season which will start with 3 T20 internationals and 2 Tests against West Indies from November 27.
The three T20Is will be played first on November 27, 29 and 30 in Auckland (Eden Park) and Tauranga (Bay Oval) while the two Tests will be played from December 3 in Hamilton (Seddon Park) and Wellington (Basin Reserve).
New Zealand will then play Pakistan in three T20s and two tests, the second Test starting at Mount Maunganui on Dec. 26, Boxing Day. It will play Australia in five T20s in February and March, then Bangladesh three one-day internationals and three T20s.
The first ODI at Dunedin on March 21 will be New Zealand’s first in the 50-over format for more than a year.
The New Zealand government has granted conditional approval to allow the West Indies and Pakistan series to go ahead.
“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the New Zealand government for helping us navigate this complex process.
“Hosting these tours is incredibly important to us for two reasons: international cricket brings in revenue that funds the entire game of cricket in New Zealand and, also, it’s crucial that we look after the fans of the game and sport in general, especially during these difficult times,” New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said.
New Zealand’s scheduled white-ball tour to Australia in January was postponed last week, but Australia are pencilled in for five T20s in New Zealand from Feb. 22, with Bangladesh to play three one-day internationals and three T20s from March 13.
All sports came to screeching halt all over the world in March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. New Zealand men’s cricket team last played in March when they played Australia in a ODI series without fans in Sydney.
While some Black Caps players took part in the Indian Premier League and have played in other T20 leagues around the world, the New Zealand team itself has been inactive.