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January 15, 2009
India's tour of New Zealand has been extended to include a third Test and a second Twenty20 international. The extra fixtures have been included at the expense of the tour match which means India will have no practice games during their visit that includes two Twenty20 matches, five ODIs and three Tests.
India will arrive in New Zealand on February 20, eight days earlier than originally scheduled, and will begin the tour with a Twenty20 match in Christchurch on February 25. Napier will host the additional Test, the second of the three-match series, from March 26 to 30. The reworked schedule resulted in the dates for the second Twenty20 game and the first three ODIs being brought forward. The three-day warm-up match against a New Zealand XI in Lincoln between the ODIs and Tests has also been scrapped.
BCCI secretary N Srinivasan said he was delighted that both the boards were able to agree on an extended tour. "My thanks go to New Zealand Cricket for responding positively to our request for an extended Test series," he said. "There have been a number of issues for both boards to resolve to accommodate the new schedule and I am pleased we have been able to work together to achieve a high quality programme. To have such a strong mix of Tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s will be good for both teams, and for cricket followers in India and New Zealand."
NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said the opportunity for an extended tour by India was great for the game in New Zealand. "India are probably the most exciting side in the world at present - packed with superstar players, and the chance to see six more days of high quality international competition will be welcomed by all New Zealand cricket fans, and give our team a great chance to prove themselves against the world's best," he said.
"We have worked hard to keep as much of the schedule as possible intact - the result is a tour where more fans will be able to see more games in more places."
India last toured New Zealand in 2002-03 and were beaten 0-2 in the Tests and 2-5 in the ODIs.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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