England in New Zealand 2012-13 June 21, 2012

Test cricket returns to Auckland

ESPNcricinfo staff
  shares 21

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

  • Rolfardeo 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.

  • StevieS 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.

  • jmcilhinney 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.

  • Robster1 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....

  • on June 21, 2012, 22:33 GMT

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

  • Munkeymomo 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...

  • 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.

  • 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

  • SDHM 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.

  • RandyOZ 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!

  • Rolfardeo 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.

  • StevieS 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.

  • jmcilhinney 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.

  • Robster1 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....

  • on June 21, 2012, 22:33 GMT

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

  • Munkeymomo 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...

  • 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.

  • 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

  • SDHM 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.

  • RandyOZ 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!

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2012, 9:37 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?

  • stickywicketnick on June 21, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    three T20 internationals! So tedious, two should be the max. Test cricket at Eden Park is a idiotic idea that only John Buchanan could've thought up. Why that guy ever got offered the top job in NZ Cricket over Glen Turner is beyond me.

  • Patchmaster on June 21, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Watching cricket at the University Oval in Dunedin is just fantastic - love it !!!

  • on June 21, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    That Stadium was never filled up so really don't get the point, that Test Match should've been played at a smaller capacity crowd. New Zealand is a country with a very small population and Rugby is their most popular sport :)

  • o-bomb on June 21, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Excellent! Now my fiancee and I can plan our honeymoon. Whoop-whoop!

  • ardoo on June 21, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    why anybody would want to play test cricket at eden park is beyond me. auckland will be able to fill about a tenth of that concrete jungle. new zealand has plenty of beautiful cricket venues, like university oval, seddon park and even pukekura park. thats where the test matches should be until theres enough fans to fill the seats

  • on June 21, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Good schedule. @jmcilhinney, you mean the selectors are allowed to pick a player just for the T20's OR the ODI's? Crazy. Maybe the Kiwis thought everyone who wanted to play ODI cricket also had to play the T20's first. Can't think where they might have taken that idea from. Looking forward to the test series, the Kiwis should be well up for it. Top up the chilly bin bro and don't forget yer jandals.

  • Lmaotsetung on June 21, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    I was wondering what England's schedule was after the India series...So basically they will be flying from India to NZ (those who play all formats) and won't be home til end of March. Feel sorry for those who play ODIs and Tests.

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    @Meety on (June 21 2012, 06:33 AM GMT), given that their are three T20s, are you predicting that one will be rained-out or tied? ;-) One good thing for England playing in NZ is that they probably have the most similar conditions to those in England, so they should feel relatively at home. I think that these upcoming series ODI against Australia and SA will give a good indication of whether England has made genuine progress in ODIs or whether they've just been in an up phase and are still as inconsistent as they were. If they can perform well in those two series then I'd fancy their chances against NZ.

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    Long range predictions 1) The T20 series will be drawn, 2) The ODIs will be won by NZ & 3) The test series will be won by Eng, with NZ winning a test & being in match winning situations in all tests but failing to ram home the advantage. Predictions based on the prime assumption that NZ have ZERO injuries in the tests & Oram plays in the short forms.

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Interesting that England have two warm-up T20s but no 50-over warm-ups. At present, Cook, Bell, Trott and Anderson are in the ODI team but not the T20 side, so that means that they would all go into the first ODI with no match practice. I'd be surprised if they were given a run in one of the T20 warm-up games.

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  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2012, 6:29 GMT

    Interesting that England have two warm-up T20s but no 50-over warm-ups. At present, Cook, Bell, Trott and Anderson are in the ODI team but not the T20 side, so that means that they would all go into the first ODI with no match practice. I'd be surprised if they were given a run in one of the T20 warm-up games.

  • Meety on June 21, 2012, 6:33 GMT

    Long range predictions 1) The T20 series will be drawn, 2) The ODIs will be won by NZ & 3) The test series will be won by Eng, with NZ winning a test & being in match winning situations in all tests but failing to ram home the advantage. Predictions based on the prime assumption that NZ have ZERO injuries in the tests & Oram plays in the short forms.

  • jmcilhinney on June 21, 2012, 7:23 GMT

    @Meety on (June 21 2012, 06:33 AM GMT), given that their are three T20s, are you predicting that one will be rained-out or tied? ;-) One good thing for England playing in NZ is that they probably have the most similar conditions to those in England, so they should feel relatively at home. I think that these upcoming series ODI against Australia and SA will give a good indication of whether England has made genuine progress in ODIs or whether they've just been in an up phase and are still as inconsistent as they were. If they can perform well in those two series then I'd fancy their chances against NZ.

  • Lmaotsetung on June 21, 2012, 7:27 GMT

    I was wondering what England's schedule was after the India series...So basically they will be flying from India to NZ (those who play all formats) and won't be home til end of March. Feel sorry for those who play ODIs and Tests.

  • on June 21, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    Good schedule. @jmcilhinney, you mean the selectors are allowed to pick a player just for the T20's OR the ODI's? Crazy. Maybe the Kiwis thought everyone who wanted to play ODI cricket also had to play the T20's first. Can't think where they might have taken that idea from. Looking forward to the test series, the Kiwis should be well up for it. Top up the chilly bin bro and don't forget yer jandals.

  • ardoo on June 21, 2012, 7:41 GMT

    why anybody would want to play test cricket at eden park is beyond me. auckland will be able to fill about a tenth of that concrete jungle. new zealand has plenty of beautiful cricket venues, like university oval, seddon park and even pukekura park. thats where the test matches should be until theres enough fans to fill the seats

  • o-bomb on June 21, 2012, 7:54 GMT

    Excellent! Now my fiancee and I can plan our honeymoon. Whoop-whoop!

  • on June 21, 2012, 8:39 GMT

    That Stadium was never filled up so really don't get the point, that Test Match should've been played at a smaller capacity crowd. New Zealand is a country with a very small population and Rugby is their most popular sport :)

  • Patchmaster on June 21, 2012, 9:10 GMT

    Watching cricket at the University Oval in Dunedin is just fantastic - love it !!!

  • stickywicketnick on June 21, 2012, 9:18 GMT

    three T20 internationals! So tedious, two should be the max. Test cricket at Eden Park is a idiotic idea that only John Buchanan could've thought up. Why that guy ever got offered the top job in NZ Cricket over Glen Turner is beyond me.