New Zealand news June 3, 2014

Test cricket returns to Christchurch

ESPNcricinfo staff
26

Christchurch will host New Zealand's first home Boxing Day Test for 11 years when international cricket returns to the city in the 2014-15 season. Hagley Oval will become the eighth Test venue in the country and the Boxing Day match against Sri Lanka will mark New Zealand's first game in Christchurch since the city was hit by a major earthquake in 2011.

New Zealand Cricket has released its home schedule for the coming summer, which also features an international debut for the Bay Oval in Tauranga. There will be only two Test matches during the season, against Sri Lanka in Christchurch and Wellington, but 12 one-day internationals will take place in the lead-up to the home World Cup early next year.

Not since New Zealand played Pakistan in Wellington in 2003 has the country hosted a Boxing Day Test, and this year's match in Christchurch will be followed by a second Test at the Basin Reserve from January 3. Christchurch has not hosted a Test since 2006-07 and the only official internationals in the city since the earthquake were two World Cup qualifier ODIs this January, involving Scotland, Canada and Kenya.

"Bringing international cricket back to Christchurch was always a priority for NZC," Lindsay Crocker, NZC's head of cricket, said. "And we feel the Boxing Day Test was a good way to celebrate what will be a very special landmark.

"While our inclination is to play short-form cricket in the holiday period, on this occasion our preference is to play the Tests early so that we can maximise ODI opportunities ahead of the World Cup.

"The original agreement with Sri Lanka provided for a five-match ODI series and two T20s - but by mutual agreement, again with the World Cup in mind, we chose to play seven ODIs. Three very competitive opponents, the chance to play at all our World Cup venues, and to take the team around the country - we think this offers a good lead-in to the World Cup, while still maintaining our commitment to Test cricket."

The home season will begin with three ODIs against South Africa - two in Tauranga and one in Hamilton - in late October, before New Zealand head to the UAE to play Pakistan in three Tests, five ODIs and a T20. After returning home, they face Sri Lanka in two Tests and seven ODIs, before finishing the summer with two ODIs against Pakistan shortly before the World Cup.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on June 4, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Great news for SriLankan's who are living in NZ. We are waiting last 7 or more years to watch cricket series against Black Caps.

  • cjchanaka on June 3, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    WOW great news,7ODIs just before the WC in WC venues will be huge advantage for us.It is really difficult to adapt to NZ conditions generally.So spending more than one month with tests & plenty of ODIs will provide definite chance for lions to win consecutive WC triumphs............-:)

  • BlakeHoulihan on June 3, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    @9ST9 Obviously we are all aware the World Cup is around the corner. But it IS bizarre that we are playing seven matches against one team, and only two against another.

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    i'm happy to see the kiwi's playing so many matches. but the SL test series should be a series of 3 matches, not 2. i know the ODI WC is around the corner, but since their already playing so many ODI's, why not cut down a 7 match ODI series to 5 so that they can play 3 matches. Hopefully South Africa and Pakistan tour again the following year so that they can play some tests in NZ. Australia should play at least a 2 test series in NZ sometime too.

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    three odi in australia and three odis in nz is better than this shedule.it will add a lot of experience for sl.sl hv to play in both aus and nz.

  • gahapanmachan on June 3, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Great for both nations. SL bats get seasoning for the WC & NZ get a training against the best bowling attack in short format.

    Wonder what the 3 big bullies think of that.

  • Blade-Runner on June 3, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    7 ODIs for Sri Lanka in NZ just before the WC !! :) This is great. All the pieces are falling into place for another WC triumph for Sri Lanka. So, other teams can kiss the WC goodbye now.

  • Captainman on June 3, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    So? are everyone suppose to turn up in numbers for once for NZ games? I pretty much doubt.

  • on June 3, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    So barring rain, we have potentially 22 days of cricket and then a world cup. That is great. I can't wait for this summer. Yes I would like to see more tests too but it's a world cup year so we need NZ too play as many ODI's as possible before the WC, we also have a duty to expose other teams to NZ conditions before the WC. Love it!

  • goabnb94 on June 3, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    @DVSK, I think the recent India-NZ series proved Asian teams need exposure to NZ conditions more than NZ needs exposure to asian teams

  • on June 4, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Great news for SriLankan's who are living in NZ. We are waiting last 7 or more years to watch cricket series against Black Caps.

  • cjchanaka on June 3, 2014, 16:07 GMT

    WOW great news,7ODIs just before the WC in WC venues will be huge advantage for us.It is really difficult to adapt to NZ conditions generally.So spending more than one month with tests & plenty of ODIs will provide definite chance for lions to win consecutive WC triumphs............-:)

  • BlakeHoulihan on June 3, 2014, 11:54 GMT

    @9ST9 Obviously we are all aware the World Cup is around the corner. But it IS bizarre that we are playing seven matches against one team, and only two against another.

  • on June 3, 2014, 11:18 GMT

    i'm happy to see the kiwi's playing so many matches. but the SL test series should be a series of 3 matches, not 2. i know the ODI WC is around the corner, but since their already playing so many ODI's, why not cut down a 7 match ODI series to 5 so that they can play 3 matches. Hopefully South Africa and Pakistan tour again the following year so that they can play some tests in NZ. Australia should play at least a 2 test series in NZ sometime too.

  • on June 3, 2014, 10:13 GMT

    three odi in australia and three odis in nz is better than this shedule.it will add a lot of experience for sl.sl hv to play in both aus and nz.

  • gahapanmachan on June 3, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Great for both nations. SL bats get seasoning for the WC & NZ get a training against the best bowling attack in short format.

    Wonder what the 3 big bullies think of that.

  • Blade-Runner on June 3, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    7 ODIs for Sri Lanka in NZ just before the WC !! :) This is great. All the pieces are falling into place for another WC triumph for Sri Lanka. So, other teams can kiss the WC goodbye now.

  • Captainman on June 3, 2014, 8:07 GMT

    So? are everyone suppose to turn up in numbers for once for NZ games? I pretty much doubt.

  • on June 3, 2014, 7:59 GMT

    So barring rain, we have potentially 22 days of cricket and then a world cup. That is great. I can't wait for this summer. Yes I would like to see more tests too but it's a world cup year so we need NZ too play as many ODI's as possible before the WC, we also have a duty to expose other teams to NZ conditions before the WC. Love it!

  • goabnb94 on June 3, 2014, 6:53 GMT

    @DVSK, I think the recent India-NZ series proved Asian teams need exposure to NZ conditions more than NZ needs exposure to asian teams

  • DVSK on June 3, 2014, 6:02 GMT

    This is great news I was wondering if this would happen. SL needs exposure to NZ conditions before the cup and NZ need exposure to the asian teams so it's a win win situation.

  • on June 3, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    @goabn: I think it refers to Carisbrook and Lancaster once hosting tests.

  • on June 3, 2014, 5:11 GMT

    Good to see a couple matches in Tauranga.

  • goabnb94 on June 3, 2014, 5:02 GMT

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but New Zealand has only six test grounds currently in use: University Oval Hagley Oval Basin Reserve McLean Park Seddon Park Eden Park Which grounds am I missing? But I am excited to see Christchurch finally host some cricket.

  • IndianInnerEdge on June 3, 2014, 4:53 GMT

    Glad to see Chch back on the international circuit , esp after the quakes. bit bizarre that only 2 tests for the whole summer....but am guessing with the WC on the agenda, ODI's is the way to go for the NZC and public...hopefully this is true and not for the reason that NZ's cricketing public donot want to see tests....

  • venkatesh018 on June 3, 2014, 4:52 GMT

    Why has Queenstown been ignored ? A real shocker from NZ board.

  • 9ST9 on June 3, 2014, 4:19 GMT

    @Clyde No it's because NZ want a lot of match practice on the eve of the WC.

  • 9ST9 on June 3, 2014, 4:18 GMT

    It's not that "bizzare" as it seems - on the eve of a World cup NZ want as much ODI exposure as possible against many teams as possible so they get in 12 ODI's against 3 different teams.

  • on June 3, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    @Clyde Don't even bring that up mate. Expect a few bashings directed towards you at the end of the day. And I agree with most of what you've stated.

  • on June 3, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Sri Lanka test always with India, Pak, Bangladesh, simply rotating between these countries.Sri Lanka should play test with Aus in Aus and WI in WI.NZ should play more tests and ODI.7 ODI is a gud step and if possible add a 5 test series in NZ

  • Clyde on June 3, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    May we assume that it is due to public demand that there are so few Tests and so many ODIs on this schedule? I am one of a populous cohort, baby-boomers, and as one of this kind of the public my desires have little influence, apparently, for I would prefer three Tests and fewer ODIs. All the while, I still wonder whether the broader public really wants this schedule. If it does, the it shows clearly that Tests, what I would call serious cricket, are in decline. One would only have to ask oneself whether the recent tour of England in Australia could have had the import it did if it had been played according to the schedule of this tour by Sri Lanka to New Zealand.

  • ilovetests on June 3, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Great to see cricket back in Christchurch after all the city has endured. The opening of the World Cup will be outstanding too.

    With regard to Boxing Day tests, I don't think NZ should bother as the BDT at the Basin Reserve always played 3rd fiddle to the games in Australia and South Africa. What I'd like to see would be a split year test - start it on 30 December one year and finish it on Jan 3 the following year, and play it at one of our visually stunning holiday destinations outside the main cities- Queenstown, Mount Maunganui, Nelson, Whangarei (or perhaps share it around these grounds).

  • Lion_96 on June 3, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    Sri Lanka first tour to NZ since 2006/07 season. Ridiculous gap between tours, why cant the ICC sort these fixtures out appropriately? South Africa havent played a Test in Sri Lanka since 2006.

  • BlakeHoulihan on June 3, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    What a bizarre list of fixtures. I don't think I've seen New Zealand play a seven match ODI series in the last 12 or 13 years, let alone a two match ODI series...

  • 22many on June 3, 2014, 2:08 GMT

    Good to see CHCH back with a test but really boxing day should be and stay in Wellington. D/N at Hamilton in Oct...good luck batting second there. Wouldn't see a D/N being played in Hobart at that time of year

  • mensan on June 3, 2014, 1:30 GMT

    Good that Pakistan at least got 2 ODI's just before the WC.

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  • mensan on June 3, 2014, 1:30 GMT

    Good that Pakistan at least got 2 ODI's just before the WC.

  • 22many on June 3, 2014, 2:08 GMT

    Good to see CHCH back with a test but really boxing day should be and stay in Wellington. D/N at Hamilton in Oct...good luck batting second there. Wouldn't see a D/N being played in Hobart at that time of year

  • BlakeHoulihan on June 3, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    What a bizarre list of fixtures. I don't think I've seen New Zealand play a seven match ODI series in the last 12 or 13 years, let alone a two match ODI series...

  • Lion_96 on June 3, 2014, 3:11 GMT

    Sri Lanka first tour to NZ since 2006/07 season. Ridiculous gap between tours, why cant the ICC sort these fixtures out appropriately? South Africa havent played a Test in Sri Lanka since 2006.

  • ilovetests on June 3, 2014, 3:27 GMT

    Great to see cricket back in Christchurch after all the city has endured. The opening of the World Cup will be outstanding too.

    With regard to Boxing Day tests, I don't think NZ should bother as the BDT at the Basin Reserve always played 3rd fiddle to the games in Australia and South Africa. What I'd like to see would be a split year test - start it on 30 December one year and finish it on Jan 3 the following year, and play it at one of our visually stunning holiday destinations outside the main cities- Queenstown, Mount Maunganui, Nelson, Whangarei (or perhaps share it around these grounds).

  • Clyde on June 3, 2014, 3:38 GMT

    May we assume that it is due to public demand that there are so few Tests and so many ODIs on this schedule? I am one of a populous cohort, baby-boomers, and as one of this kind of the public my desires have little influence, apparently, for I would prefer three Tests and fewer ODIs. All the while, I still wonder whether the broader public really wants this schedule. If it does, the it shows clearly that Tests, what I would call serious cricket, are in decline. One would only have to ask oneself whether the recent tour of England in Australia could have had the import it did if it had been played according to the schedule of this tour by Sri Lanka to New Zealand.

  • on June 3, 2014, 4:05 GMT

    Sri Lanka test always with India, Pak, Bangladesh, simply rotating between these countries.Sri Lanka should play test with Aus in Aus and WI in WI.NZ should play more tests and ODI.7 ODI is a gud step and if possible add a 5 test series in NZ

  • on June 3, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    @Clyde Don't even bring that up mate. Expect a few bashings directed towards you at the end of the day. And I agree with most of what you've stated.

  • 9ST9 on June 3, 2014, 4:18 GMT

    It's not that "bizzare" as it seems - on the eve of a World cup NZ want as much ODI exposure as possible against many teams as possible so they get in 12 ODI's against 3 different teams.

  • 9ST9 on June 3, 2014, 4:19 GMT

    @Clyde No it's because NZ want a lot of match practice on the eve of the WC.