Sunday 29 November, 2020

West Indies to tour New Zealand in November

West Indies players celebrate a wicket during their recent Test series in England.

West Indies players celebrate a wicket during their recent Test series in England.

Cricket West Indies (CWI) has announced that he West Indies men’s team will tour New Zealand later this year, from November 27 to December 15, for three T20 Internationals (T20I) and two Test matches.

This follows confirmation by New Zealand Cricket (NZC) that they have received their Government’s approval to proceed with plans to host international cricket. The tour is subject to the final COVID-19 medical protocols being approved by the Cricket West Indies (CWI) Medical Advisory Committee and regional Government health and aviation officials.

CWI President Ricky Skerritt said: “We are pleased to be able to fulfill our obligation to tour New Zealand as we continue to get our ICC Future Tours Programme back on track, in spite of the financial difficulties we face.

"I want to thank CWI CEO Johnny Grave and Director of Cricket Jimmy Adams, and their operations team, for successfully partnering with New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to make this tour possible. Earlier this summer, in collaboration with the England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB), we restarted international cricket, globally. Fortunately, that England tour included the successful testing of safety protocols which we expect will be the standard for all international cricket tours.

"COVID-19 has created a most challenging period for cricketers and fans alike, with all the schedules being adjusted and amended. We see this tour as another timely opportunity to keep our players working and our fans entertained.”

The proposed West Indies tour to New Zealand will start with the defending T20 World Cup champions facing the Black Caps at Eden Park in Auckland for a match under lights. The series then moves to Mount Maunganui for two matches at the picturesque Bay Oval – the first a day match and the second under lights.

West Indies will then travel to Hamilton for the first Test at Seddon Park and then south to Wellington for the second match at the historic Basin Reserve.

The T20Is will be the start of an 11-month schedule of matches building up to the ICC T20 World Cup, rescheduled for October 2021 in India. The opening contest at Eden Park will be added significance as this is the venue where the two teams met in their first T20I contest back in 2006. That match ended in a tie which forced a bowl-off.

The tour will end New Zealand cricket team’s long drought of international matches and the start of a busy domestic summer.

The Black Caps last took the field in March when they played Australia in a one-day international without fans in Sydney. All scheduled series in the last six months have been canceled because of the coronavirus pandemic.

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.

That T20 series against the West Indies will be followed by two test matches.

New Zealand will then play Pakistan in three T20s and two tests, the second test starting at Mount Maunganui on December 26, Boxing Day. They 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,” New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White said. “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.”

Proposed West Indies, New Zealand match schedule:

November 27: 1st T20I at Eden Park, Auckland
November 29: 2nd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
November 30: 3rd T20I at Bay Oval, Mount Maunganui
December 3-7: 1st Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton
December 11-15: 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington

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