The schedule of India, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Sri Lanka tour 2019 has been revealed. India will play five One Day Internationals (ODIs) and three Twenty20 Internationals (T20I) matches from January 23 till February 10.
Napier will host the first ODI and the other matches are spread across Tauranga, Hamilton Wellington and Hamilton.
Both India sides will arrive in New Zealand in late January; the men squaring off against the Blackcaps’ over the course of a five-match ODI series and three T20s, and the women playing the White Ferns in three ODIs ahead of their three T20 fixtures.
The men’s and women’s ODIs will be played over consecutive days at Napier, Mt Maunganui and Hamilton, and the T20s on the same days at Wellington, Auckland and Hamilton.
The joint initiative is one of the highlights of a 2018-19 International schedule that features visits from the two India sides plus the India A team, as well as the Sri Lanka men and Bangladesh men’s teams.
The India A side’s visit to New Zealand corresponds with NZC’s increased investment in the A programme, as announced in the new NZC-NZCPA Master Agreement, last week. It will comprise three four-dayers at Mt Maunganui, Seddon Park and Cobham Oval, respectively, and three 50-over fixtures – all to be played at Bay Oval.
As was the case last summer, the Blackcaps’’ international summer will be book-ended by two Tests against Sri Lanka in December (including a Boxing Day Test in Christchurch) and a three-Test series against Bangladesh in March - with a feast of ODIs and T20s played in-between.
Sri Lanka, which recently trounced South Africa at home in Tests, is scheduled to arrive in New Zealand in early December and will play a warm-up match at Napier ahead of its Test series, after which it will contest three ODIs and a stand-alone T20.
Bangladesh, which at the weekend flagged its threat with a 2-1 ODI series win in the West Indies – it’s first overseas series win in the 50-over format for nine years, will touch down in New Zealand in early February ahead of playing three ODIs, and Tests at Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch.
NZC had hoped to schedule the opening Bangladesh Test at Seddon Park as a Day-Night fixture but could not obtain agreement from the Bangladesh Cricket Board and was forced to revert to the traditional hours-of-play.
NZC chief operating officer Anthony Crummy said the schedule was rich in content; would bring some of the world’s best players to New Zealand, and ensured a healthy geographical spread – with international fixtures to be played from Cobham Oval in the north, to the University of Otago Oval in the south.
“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,” said Mr Crummy.
“It’s exciting to have the India men’s and women’s team here. The men are currently ranked No.2 in ODIs and T20s – and the women arrive as ICC Cricket World Cup finalists.
“It’s also healthy to be driving greater exposure and appeal in the women’s game. All six of the WHITE FERNS’ fixtures will be televised live for the first time in New Zealand history.”
Mr Crummy noted that, apart from the second T20 on February 8 at Eden Park, all the India men’s games would start and finish an hour later than usual, as per NZC’s agreement with Indian broadcaster, Star Sports.
“NZC would’ve liked to have scheduled more India matches at Eden Park in Auckland but was unable to do so because of restrictions at the venue.”
He wanted to thank Star Sports for supporting a variance to the agreement so that NZC could start the second T20 against India at the earlier time of 7pm.
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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