New Zealand to host Pakistan 'home' series
New Zealand will host six Tests in a summer for the first time after confirming their series against Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia for 2009-10. The season features a three-Test series against Pakistan, who will be the 'home' team after relocating the games to New Zealand due to security concerns in Pakistan, while the heavy schedule has forced Australia's tour to be cut to two Tests instead of three.
The first Test against Pakistan is in Dunedin from November 24, before the series moves on to Wellington and Napier in December. After a break over Christmas and January, the New Zealanders host Bangladesh for a Twenty20, three ODIs and a one-off Test in Hamilton during February.
Australia's tour features two Twenty20s in late February before a five-match ODI series for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy and two Tests - rather than the originally scheduled three - in Wellington and Hamilton starting on March 19 and 27 respectively. It will be the first time in 20 years that New Zealand have hosted Australia for a series of fewer than three Tests and it confirms that Australia and New Zealand players will not be available for IPL till March 31.
"Playing Test cricket in New Zealand after the cessation of daylight saving and deep into the second week of April is not realistic," Justin Vaughan, the chief executive of New Zealand Cricket, said. "Therefore our only option has been to limit the series to two Tests.
"This is shaping up as a very exciting season for cricket fans - and a really busy one for the Black Caps. New Zealand has never before hosted more than five Tests in a season, so the six Test matches being played this summer is a tremendous programme."
The summer will feature two one-day internationals against Australia at Auckland's Eden Park, which will at the time remain under redevelopment with a reduced capacity. Only 8000 seats will be available for each of those games, instead of the usual level of up to 25,000, and fans can pre-register for tickets at the New Zealand Cricket website.
Pakistan in New Zealand
November 18-20 - Warm-up match
November 24-28 - 1st Test at University Oval, Dunedin
December 3-7 - 2nd Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington
December 11-15 - 3rd Test at McLean Park, Napier
Bangladesh in New Zealand
February 3 - Twenty20 international at Seddon Park, Hamilton
February 5 - 1st ODI at McLean Park, Napier
February 8 - 2nd ODI at University Oval, Dunedin
February 9 - 3rd ODI at AMI Stadium, Christchurch
February 15-19 - Only Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton
Australia in New Zealand
February 26 - Twenty20 international at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
February 28 - Twenty20 international at AMI Stadium, Christchurch
March 3 - 1st ODI at McLean Park, Napier
March 6 - 2nd ODI at Eden Park, Auckland
March 9 - 3rd ODI at Seddon Park, Hamilton
March 11 - 4th ODI at Eden Park, Auckland
March 13 - 5th ODI at Westpac Stadium, Wellington
March 19-23 - 1st Test at Basin Reserve, Wellington
March 27-31 - 2nd Test at Seddon Park, Hamilton