England in New Zealand 2012-13 June 21, 2012

Test cricket returns to Auckland

ESPNcricinfo staff

Auckland's Eden Park will host its first Test in seven years when England play there during their three-Test series next season. New Zealand Cricket has released its schedule for the England tour, which will consist of Tests in Dunedin, Wellington and Auckland, along with three Twenty20 internationals and three ODIs.

Eden Park has not hosted a Test since March 2006, when New Zealand beat West Indies, although it has remained a regular venue for international limited-overs games. David White, the New Zealand Cricket chief executive, said an England Test seemed like a good fit for Auckland, while Dunedin was the logical South Island venue for a Test after Christchurch's ground was affected by last year's earthquake.

"Auckland hasn't hosted a Test match since 2006 and we felt the England tour presented a good opportunity allocate a match to our largest city," White said. "An inbound England tour brings in a large number of supporters who create a wonderful atmosphere and we are sure the people of Auckland will turn out in force to see two quality teams in what promises to be a fantastic occasion.

"We felt it was important to schedule an international match in the South Island and a Test match at University Oval was the logical choice. It was 1966 when the England team last played a Test match in Dunedin so I'm sure the locals will get behind the event. Unfortunately we were again unable to schedule a match in Canterbury due to the lack of a suitable venue for international cricket."

Seddon Park in Hamilton missed on being allocated a Test for the first time since 2006-07, while there was also no room for Napier's McLean Park on the Test calendar. Hamilton and Napier will both host matches during the limited-overs portion of the tour, which runs through February, before England play a four-day warm-up game in Queenstown ahead of the Test series.

Twenty20 series
February 4 - New Zealand XI v England, Cobham Oval, Whangarei (warm-up match)
February 6 - New Zealand XI v England, Cobham Oval, Whangarei (warm-up match)

February 9 - First T20 international, Eden Park, Auckland
February 12 - Second T20 international, Seddon Park, Hamilton
February 15 - Third T20 international, Westpac Stadium, Wellington

One-day international series
February 17 - First ODI, Seddon Park, Hamilton
February 20 - Second ODI, McLean Park, Napier
February 23 - Third ODI, Eden Park, Auckland

Test series
February 27-March 2 - New Zealand XI v England, Queenstown (warm-up match)

March 6-10 - First Test, University Oval, Dunedin
March 14-18 - Second Test, Basin Reserve, Wellington
March 22-26 - Third Test, Eden Park, Auckland

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Regan on June 23, 2012, 12:01 GMT

    It is good to finally see another 3 test series . . . all test series should be 3 matches anything less, no matter the opposition, is a disgrace. Let's face it, NZ is ranked too low to refuse full test series based on perceived superiority to any of the test nations. Playing more matches is the only way we will get better.

  • Garry on June 22, 2012, 10:47 GMT

    I hate test matched played at rugby grounds! Surely Auckland could do what Dunedin has done and revamp on of the many grounds for test cricket purposes, Auckland domain comes to mind.

  • John on June 22, 2012, 0:46 GMT

    @Jono Makim on (June 21 2012, 11:11 AM GMT), no it doesn't make a mockery of anything. Pay attention now. The ECB require all their players to make themselves available for both limited-overs formats if they want to be eligible for either. All those players are available for selection for both ODIs and T20s. Pietersen wanted to make himself unavailable for ODIs while still being selected for T20s. That contravenes the conditions of his contract. If you need it explained in simpler terms still then let me know.

  • Rob on June 21, 2012, 22:48 GMT

    Poor choice for Eden Park for 3rd test. A boutique ground like Napier would have been a way better choice, nearly full, atmospheric etc. Maybe a rethink please - would please travelling Brits....

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2012, 22:33 GMT

    Wow a 3 Test Series what a unique concept! lets hope it catches on

  • Mark on June 21, 2012, 15:16 GMT

    @RandyOz It must be one in one out because there's a hell of a lot of your boys over here too! Always moaning about the weather as if they expected something warmer...

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2012, 11:11 GMT

    Posted by jmcilhinney on (June 21 2012, 09:37 AM GMT) @Jono Makim on (June 21 2012, 07:41 AM GMT), oh the hilarity. All four of those players are available for T20s and, to the best of my knowledge, want to play T20s. Are you able to place the same constraints on your employer as they are on you?.................. Since i'm self employed, yes. It does make a mockery of them not allowing KP not to choose T20 cricket only though.

  • Dummy4 on June 21, 2012, 10:36 GMT

    can't believe they have chosen to play a test at Eden Park. I'm an Aucklander and love the ground, but there are better options. Keep Eden Park for the limited over formats

  • Samuel on June 21, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    JMC - I actually disagree; the last time Australia were over for a one-off series England went 3-0 up before easing off and we've had the wood over South Africa in recent ODI encounters, so whilst I won't say England are clear favourites to win either series, if they did so comfortably it wouldn't surprise me (it also wouldn't surprise me if they lost horribly - such is the nature of supporting England in one-dayers!). Despite conditions being completely different, the series in India will be the better benchmark of where England are at; the 4-0 win in the UAE was progress, but India at home is the toughest assignment going round in 50 cricket certainly, and England have made a habit of being thumped on their last few tours there! Conditions in New Zealand should be more familiar and comfortable for the players though, and from what I've seen on TV the pitches have had pace in recently - not sure that is NZ's best way forward against the England seamers.

  • Randolph on June 21, 2012, 10:06 GMT

    Oh great that means we will probably have to put up with the Barmy Army touring our wonderful country before and after this series. With the census out today and 20% poms here you'd think we've got enough!

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