May 22, 2001

New Zealand tread familiar Australian path

New Zealand have failed to crack the Australian cricket nut once again with no Tests next summer scheduled for the main city centres of Sydney and Melbourne.

The last occasion New Zealand played a Test at the Melbourne Cricket Ground was in 1987 when Australia survived for a draw with its last pair at the wicket.

Sydney was last the venue for a transtasman Test in 1985/86, the only Test Australia won in the six-Test home and away series of that summer in which New Zealand won three Tests.

One-Day Internationals have been played at the respective grounds. This year's one-day series details are yet to be released.

New Zealand's tour opens in Brisbane with a four-day game with Queensland in Brisbane on November 1. That will be followed by the first Test from November 8-12.

A one-day game against the Prime Minister's XI will follow before the four-day game against South Australia in Adelaide from November 16-19.

The second Test is at Hobart from November 22-26 and the third Test at Perth from November 30 to December 4.

As South Africa's tour Test matches begin in mid-December it appears the tri-series of One-Day Internationals will start in January.

That could leave New Zealand players available for domestic cricket back in New Zealand before the arrival of the Bangladesh side.