Napier to host India-tour opener
India will kick off their New Zealand tour in January with an ODI in Napier. Auckland and Wellington will host the two Tests later in February and have also been given an ODI each. Hamilton, which missed out on the Tests, has been awarded two ODIs, meaning India won't be playing any games in New Zealand's South Island.
NZC chief executive David White said the four ODI venues, the only ones in the country with permanent lights, were selected keeping in mind the international and domestic broadcasters' requests for day-night matches, as well as to cater to the needs of Indian fans in New Zealand.
"We felt that with the Tests in Wellington and Auckland, that Hamilton was the best spot for a second one-dayer with a large Indian population on their doorstep," White said. Auckland's Eden Park, with its bigger capacity, also edged out Hamilton's Seddon Park to stage the first Test from February 6-10, while the second will be played in the country's premier Test venue, the Basin Reserve in Wellington from February 14-18.
Hugh Henderson, the Central Districts chief executive, was delighted to be hosting the opening game in Napier. "The Indian team are a huge drawcard throughout the world so the opportunity to host them on a Sunday in January will be fantastic for the region."