New Zealand, Sri Lanka drop bilateral ODIs for tri-series with India
New Zealand's five-match bilateral ODI series in Sri Lanka has been replaced by a tri-series also featuring India that will run from September 8-14. The four-game tournament, the dates for which were announced today, had been firmed up last month during the ICC meeting at Lord's.
All matches will be played at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
The rest of New Zealand's tour schedule has also been tweaked. While the two Tests run as planned, the tourists play an additional three-day tour game before the first Test in Galle. The two Twenty20 internationals against Sri Lanka will now be played on September 2 and 4, after the Test series.
After the conclusion of the tri-series, all three teams will head to South Africa for the Champions Trophy. New Zealand may play an additional 50-over warm-up game against Sri Lanka XI on September 16, depending on the outcome of the tri-series.
"This will be a tough series both in terms of the strength of the opposition and the playing conditions," Geoff Allott, New Zealand Cricket's general manager, said. "With high humidity, and temperatures expected to reach 35, our players will be well tested. The two warm-up games are important in ensuring our players can acclimatise and get a good build up to the first Test."
The schedule was confirmed after Allott and New Zealand Cricket Players Association (NZCPA) executive manager, Heath Mills, visited Sri Lanka recently, along with an independent security firm.
"After talking with local authorities, the British and Australian High Commissions, and our security advisers, we believe that both Colombo and Galle are considered relatively safe locations at present," Allot said. "However it is still vital that our security plans are of the highest standards and every effort is made to ensure the safety of the team at all times."
This is New Zealand's first visit to Sri Lanka after a gap of six years. In 2003, they drew the two-Test series 0-0 and won the tri-series, also involving Pakistan.
New Zealand's itinerary
Aug 7-9: Three-day match, Colombo (Colts Cricket Club)
Aug 12-14: Three-day match, Colombo (NCC)
Aug 18-22: 1st Test, Galle
Aug 26-30: 2nd Test, Colombo (SSC)
Sept 2: 1st Twenty20 international, Colombo (Premadasa)
Sept 4: 2nd Twenty20 international, Colombo (Premadasa)
Sept 6: One-day warm-up match v Sri Lanka A, Colombo (SSC)
Tri-series at Premadasa stadium, Colombo
Sept 8 Sri Lanka v New Zealand
Sept 10 India v Sri Lanka
Sept 12 India v New Zealand
Sept 14: Final