New Zealand Cricket on Thursday (August 27), announced details of upcoming tours involving Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia, as the team seeks to capitalise on their stirring run to the World Cup final.
The international action over the New Zealand summer will feature four Tests, 11 One-Day Internationals and five Twenty20 Internationals.
New Zealand’s cricket team enjoyed a surge in popularity in the rugby-mad nation when they reached the World Cup final in March this year, a tournament they co-hosted with Australia.
Although they faltered against the Australians in the final, Brendon McCullum, the New Zealand captain, said the upcoming schedule offered home fans a chance to see their team playing top-class opposition again.
“Looking at this schedule, there’s some really exciting opposition in front of us,” he told reporters. “So hopefully we can build on what we did last year and also at the World Cup, drive this team forward and keep improving our performances.”
Sri Lanka arrive first, playing two Tests, five ODIs and two T20Is between December 10 and January 10.
Pakistan then embark on a tour involving three T20Is and three ODIs from January 15-31, and Australia wrap up the schedule with three one-dayers and two Tests between February 3 and February 24.
The first Test against Australia in Wellington could potentially be McCullum’s 100th, but the 33-year-old, who suffers from chronic back pain, was coy about whether he would consider retirement after reaching the milestone.
“I’m not sure, we’ll see what unfolds,” said McCullum. “It’d be great to achieve that. It’s something you could look back on and be very proud of, but it’s not what motivates me.”
New Zealand v Sri Lanka
December 10-14: 1st Test, University Oval, Dunedin
December 18-22: 2nd Test, Seddon Park, Hamilton
December 26: 1st ODI, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
December 28: 2nd ODI, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
December 31: 3rd ODI, Saxton Oval, Nelson
January 2: 4th ODI, Saxton Oval, Nelson
January 5: 5th ODI, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
January 7: 1st T20, Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
January 10: 2nd T20, Eden Park, Auckland
New Zealand v Pakistan
January 15: 1st T20, Eden Park, Auckland
January 17: 2nd T20, Seddon Park, Hamilto
January 22: 3rd T20, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
January 25: 1st ODI, Basin Reserve, Wellington
January 28: 2nd ODI, McLean Park, Napier
January 31: 3rd ODI, Eden Park, Auckland
New Zealand v Australia
February 3: 1st ODI, Eden Park, Auckland
February 6: 2nd ODI, Westpac Stadium, Wellington
February 8: 3rd ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
February 12-16: 1st Test, Basin Reserve, Wellington
February 20-24: 2nd Test, Hagley Oval, Christchurch