India's NZ tour advanced to January
India will tour New Zealand for a month in mid-January for five ODIs and two Tests, with the first one-dayer to be played on January 19 and the second Test ending on February 18. New Zealand Cricket's release came a day after the BCCI's working committee approved the tour. The announcement increased the uncertainty surrounding India's South Africa tour in November, the itinerary of which is yet to be finalised.
The New Zealand tour was scheduled to begin in early February, according to the ICC Future Tours Programme, but will now start around two to three weeks earlier, eating into the time allotted for the South Africa tour. In fact, according to the itinerary announced by Cricket South Africa in July, and objected to by the BCCI, the third and final Test in Johannesburg was to end on January 19, the day on which India will now be thousands of miles away commencing their New Zealand sojourn.
The make-up of the South Africa trip had already been put in doubt after it was left out of a list of upcoming series announced by the BCCI a day ago, which included a freshly-planned home Test series against West Indies in November.
West Indies will then will travel to New Zealand after playing in the subcontinent, for a series that starts on December 3 and ends on January 15, four days before the home team's first game against India.
David White, New Zealand Cricket's chief executive, said he was unaware about the itinerary of India's tour of South Africa but added that NZC had finalised the dates only after discussions with the BCCI. White did not want to speculate on why the BCCI's release on Sunday had not included the dates but confirmed both boards had worked together on the final itinerary. "Those dates have been signed off with the BCCI. We had been in discussions just before the (BCCI) working committee meeting and worked through the dates and that was ratified at the meeting," White told ESPNcricinfo.
He was understandably pleased about the prospects of a tour that is likely to be a money-spinner for his board. "It's brilliant that the Black Caps will be playing five ODIs against the world's top one-day side given the proximity of the World Cup in 2015," White said. While the boards have stuck to the five ODIs as laid out in the FTP, the originally scheduled three Tests have been cut down to two, while the Twenty20 international has been done away with. The venues will be confirmed in a week or so, NZC said.
India last toured New Zealand from February to April 2009 for a longer trip consisting of two T20s followed by five ODIs and ending with three Tests. While New Zealand won both T20s, India took the ODIs 3-1 and the Tests 1-0.