PHOTOSPORT

Summer of Opportunity looms for BLACKCAPS & WHITE FERNS

The defending World Test champion BLACKCAPS will have a chance to create history against South Africa, and the WHITE FERNS will take on India ahead of the ICC Women’s World Cup, all as part of New Zealand Cricket’s international summer schedule for the 2021- 22 season.

Full international summer schedule

The BLACKCAPS, who have never beaten South Africa in a Test series home or away, will have a chance to address that when they square off against the Proteas in dual Tests in late February-early March, the first at the Cello Basin Reserve and the second at Hagley Oval.             

The WHITE FERNS will put the finishing touches on their preparations for the upcoming World Cup, to be hosted in New Zealand for the first time in 22 years, when they play India in a six-match series comprising a T20, and five ODIs.

With the BLACKCAPS in India until early next month and then needing to undergo managed isolation on their return, the international summer will not officially get underway until the New Year, with Tests against Bangladesh at Bay Oval and Hagley Oval, respectively.

All four Tests will be part of the BLACKCAPS World Test Championship defence, and all their ODIs through the summer will carry ICC Super League status - which determines automatic qualification for the ICC World Cup 2023.

Highlights of the season will include home and away short-form series between Australia and the BLACKCAPS, comprising three ODIs and a T20 to be played across the Tasman in late January-early February, and three trans-Tasman T20s in New Zealand in March.

The BLACKCAPS’ final commitments for the summer will be against the Netherlands, who will arrive in late March for their tour of New Zealand, having most recently visited in 2014 to play World Cup qualifiers against Kenya and Canada.

The Netherlands will open their tour with a T20 at Bay Oval ahead of playing three ODIs, the first at the University of Otago Oval in Dunedin, and the final two at Hamilton’s Seddon Park.

The ICC Women’s World Cup, postponed for a year because of the Covid-19 pandemic, will be contested through March into early April, providing the headline act for the New Zealand summer and a high-profile end to the season.

NZC chief executive David White acknowledged the delay in announcing the summer schedule, explaining it was inevitable given the impact of Covid-19 both in New Zealand and abroad, and the knock-on effects on international travel.

“It hasn’t been a straight-forward process and we’ve needed to work through a number of unexpected changes before finalising the arrangements,” he said.

“Having said that, I’m delighted with the volume and quality of the international cricket to be played over the summer, particularly given the importance of, and the relevance connected to these games.

“The India series is a crucial part of the WHITE FERNS’ World Cup preparations.

“The four Tests are very important for the BLACKCAPS in terms of their World Test Championship defence.

“And, as part of the ICC Super League, the BLACKCAPS’ six ODIs carry similar significance.”

All internationals in New Zealand will be streamed live on Spark Sport, with the BLACKCAPS’ first T20s against Australia and the Netherlands, respectively, and the WHITE FERNS’ T20 against India, also screened live and free-to-air on TVNZ.                                        

Tickets for fixtures will go on sale early December. Sign up to Cricket Nation to be first to hear about ticket purchases.                              

* The twelve ICC member nations plus the Netherlands compete in the Super League, with the eight top-placed teams gaining automatic entry to the next World Cup. 

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