Massive boost for New Zealand cricket as Windies, Pakistan confirm tours, Newsline

WELLINGTON – New Zealand’s Black Caps will launch their home summer of cricket with a Twenty20 match against West Indies at Eden Park on November 27 before two Test series against the same opponents and Pakistan, New Zealand Cricket said on Tuesday.

The New Zealand government had green-lighted the West Indies and Pakistan tours and was also expected to approve white-ball tours by Australia and Bangladesh in February and March, the cricket board said.

“We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the New Zealand government for helping us navigate this complex process,” New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White said in a statement.

“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.”

After three T20s against West Indies, New Zealand play the first Test against the Windies at Seddon Park in Hamilton from December 3 and the second at Wellington’s Basin Reserve from December 11.

The Black Caps will also play three T20s against Pakistan before their Test series, with the first test from December 26 at Tauranga and the second from January 3 in Christchurch.

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 February 22, with Bangladesh to play three one-day internationals and three T20s from March 13.

With no international cricket in New Zealand for the bulk of January and February, players will be released to appear in the “Super Smash” domestic T20 competition.

White said NZC would cut the matches’ general admission ticket prices by almost half to acknowledge the “challenging circumstances in which many New Zealanders had found themselves in the wake of the Covid-19 crisis.”