New Zealand news July 10, 2014

Large gaps in New Zealand's FTP schedule

ESPNcricinfo staff
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New Zealand Cricket appears to have secured two inbound tours from each of the big three, but could have large gaps to fill in their schedule, according to the latest version of the FTP, which stretches to 2023. New Zealand are likely to have a busy home schedule each summer, with as many as seven home Tests penciled in for the 2016/17 season, but are yet to find away Test tours in 2017. The 2018 and 2019 schedules could also be light on away cricket during the New Zealand winter.

The imbalance may stem from New Zealand's commercial position in world cricket. While the Big Three nations can make money from almost any tour, home Tests with New Zealand are not lucrative propositions for teams like Sri Lanka, Pakistan, West Indies and South Africa. As such, New Zealand appear in most need of assistance from the "Test Cricket Fund" promised by the revamped ICC in February. However, the setting up of this "Fund" had not been a significant point of discussion during the recent ICC meeting in Melbourne, according to one director in attendance.

Among the bilateral agreements fuelling this discrepancy between New Zealand's home and away schedules is the tie with Sri Lanka. New Zealand are set to host Tests against Sri Lanka twice after 2015, only have one trip scheduled to the island, in 2021. Their arrangement with West Indies is even more imbalanced. West Indies visit New Zealand twice for Tests, in 2017/18 and 2020/21, but there are no tours to the West Indies scheduled between the ongoing tour and 2023. The ongoing series is the reciprocal tour for West Indies' visit to New Zealand last year.

Likewise, Pakistan are set to tour New Zealand thrice for Tests, but New Zealand only have two away Test tours against Pakistan - including the three-Test series later this year. New Zealand also have only one home-and-away arrangement with South Africa, though that may in part be due to clashing home seasons. New Zealand have until October to negotiate more winter Test tours, before the FTP is set to be signed. However, tours can be arranged even beyond that date via mutual agreement between boards.

The Big Three nations are likely to play a mix of two and three-Test series with New Zealand. The 2019/20 summer is set to be a bumper for board coffers, with both India and England set to visit and a Test series against Pakistan also scheduled.

Several home-and-away limited-overs tours have also been scheduled, ostensibly both to fill up New Zealand's schedule and to provide additional sources of income. Two home-and-away Test tours with Bangladesh are also in the schedule, as well as one reciprocal arrangement with Zimbabwe.

Member nations have been told to sign their bilateral agreements by the next ICC Board meeting in October in order to firmly establish that FTP is both "binding and bankable".

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY on | July 14, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Guess this is the trickle down effect from being neutral to the BCCI threats that made CA, ECB jump together. Obvious to anyone who see's things in the long run that this would eventually happen. Not enough money? Then no cricket. The three rich power houses will do what little they need to do to keep face, and not worry about the rest; which NZC will have to solve on their own. And to be honest will be done well, but hard, frustrating and back breaking to say the least.

  • POSTED BY 22many on | July 13, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    trouble has been in the past, is that NZ have only been playing two match series...if it had been the same this time around v the WI, would we be saying the tour was a success after losing the second test...what I want to see is three match series every time NZ play home and away....but sadly I feel we will be touring the likes of Bangladesh , Sri Lanka...in wet season...etc every year ...only positive there is we will have players with inflated averages and high in world rankings .

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 13, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    @Min2000 - I agree, due to their recent good performances there are more people willing to go along watch them. Let's hope that continues, so we can become a more attractive proposition for other teams.

    @kiwicricketnut - And that is exactly why, NZ Cricket will be all right. Respect.

  • POSTED BY mangatoi on | July 12, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    Its worth remembering potential viewing audiences. Courtesy google here are some recent populations: Ind 1.237b, Pak 180m, Bang 155m, Eng & Wales 56m, Sth Africa 51m, SL 20m, Aus 20k, Zim 14m, WI 5m, NZ 4m. Even second tier nations Kenya 43m, Afghanistan 30m, Ireland 5m. The black caps need a performance level & reputation similar to that of the WI team 1980-1995 to demand the attention of overseas viewers. And that's just for test cricket! But hey, they have turned the corner & heading in right direction. The other pro rata problem is the number of players in NZ. A bit of dead wood still playing at 1st class level, and thus not a lot of selection pressure options.

  • POSTED BY Min2000 on | July 12, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    The good news is that NZL is starting to build up a team that crowds want to watch. Hopefully this will mean more tours and fewer yawning gaps in the schedule going forward.

    I propose a 4 test series between New Zealand and Australia. Play 2 tests in each country - can you sort that out for us please ICC? Cheers!

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | July 12, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    @ BlakeHoulihan, i'd never lose faith in my team, i've loved this game ever since i started playing as a seven year old, i'll support the black caps to the day i die through thick and thin but im also i realist and understand that foriegn cricket boards don't share the same love for my team, the big 3 take over has given us more games against them because they had too to get us to say yes to it but now the others arn't being so accomadating, bit of a shame, im sure nz cricket will get us tours so im not too worried, and i'll be supporting them all the way.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 12, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut - I understand where you are coming from. But there is still a FTP in place, it's not going away. And you know better than most, that we haven't been getting many of the tours, or rather the length of the tour, that we really want in the recent past. So I ask, what has changed for us? Not that much. We kiwi cricket fans are the most optimistic in the world, and if people like you are losing faith, then that is very worrying indeed. I consider cricket in New Zealand to be moving in a positive direction, as does the body of New Zealand cricket.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 12, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Winchester666 - That attitude is not necessary. Yes I understand what it takes to win a series. Series wins happen all the time. Unfortunately not by us. If we can't be competitive and win series away from home, it's much less of a draw card for the fans. Do you understand?

    G-Wyl - Look what you said. "We are barely one rung higher than Ireland", yet you want to be on the same playing field as the big nations? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Work hard, get results, get respect, improve, be given more opportunities. More people will pay to watch a competitive match, which will generate more revenue. I'm not saying we will match Australia or England, but we can become a more attractive proposition, a'la South Africa, if we play well. What is so hard to understand about that?

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | July 12, 2014, 2:49 GMT

    even if we were ranked in the top 3 in the world, teams wouldn't really want us touring because we just don't generate as much money as the bigger nations and so if a countries board can choose who they want to tour why would they choose us? plus being beaten by little old nz isn't a good look or good for their rankings, their really isn't much incentive to have us, thats why the future tours programme was the fairest way.

  • POSTED BY G-Wyll on | July 11, 2014, 23:07 GMT

    Blake. It is completely about money. Viewer enjoyment? It wouldn't matter whether we are ranked 1 or 10. We're not a big fish generating big bucks and therefore will always be sidelined - which we most certainly have been. Laughable to think anyone in nz cricket would disagree. Looking back on the good old days? I said I remembered when cricket was a sport instead of a game of global chess where huge amounts of cash generated by a tedious new format allowed India to steal the control of the game to the detriment of all 'lesser' nations, except for their sloggers. Loved those days. Sorry mate, doesn't mean a thing how well we perform. I applaud your optimism but ask the Irish what they think? They deserve test cricket and have done for a generation now. Will they get it? Nope. We're barely one rung higher on the ladder than them.

  • POSTED BY on | July 14, 2014, 9:48 GMT

    Guess this is the trickle down effect from being neutral to the BCCI threats that made CA, ECB jump together. Obvious to anyone who see's things in the long run that this would eventually happen. Not enough money? Then no cricket. The three rich power houses will do what little they need to do to keep face, and not worry about the rest; which NZC will have to solve on their own. And to be honest will be done well, but hard, frustrating and back breaking to say the least.

  • POSTED BY 22many on | July 13, 2014, 7:09 GMT

    trouble has been in the past, is that NZ have only been playing two match series...if it had been the same this time around v the WI, would we be saying the tour was a success after losing the second test...what I want to see is three match series every time NZ play home and away....but sadly I feel we will be touring the likes of Bangladesh , Sri Lanka...in wet season...etc every year ...only positive there is we will have players with inflated averages and high in world rankings .

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 13, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    @Min2000 - I agree, due to their recent good performances there are more people willing to go along watch them. Let's hope that continues, so we can become a more attractive proposition for other teams.

    @kiwicricketnut - And that is exactly why, NZ Cricket will be all right. Respect.

  • POSTED BY mangatoi on | July 12, 2014, 23:56 GMT

    Its worth remembering potential viewing audiences. Courtesy google here are some recent populations: Ind 1.237b, Pak 180m, Bang 155m, Eng & Wales 56m, Sth Africa 51m, SL 20m, Aus 20k, Zim 14m, WI 5m, NZ 4m. Even second tier nations Kenya 43m, Afghanistan 30m, Ireland 5m. The black caps need a performance level & reputation similar to that of the WI team 1980-1995 to demand the attention of overseas viewers. And that's just for test cricket! But hey, they have turned the corner & heading in right direction. The other pro rata problem is the number of players in NZ. A bit of dead wood still playing at 1st class level, and thus not a lot of selection pressure options.

  • POSTED BY Min2000 on | July 12, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    The good news is that NZL is starting to build up a team that crowds want to watch. Hopefully this will mean more tours and fewer yawning gaps in the schedule going forward.

    I propose a 4 test series between New Zealand and Australia. Play 2 tests in each country - can you sort that out for us please ICC? Cheers!

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | July 12, 2014, 11:58 GMT

    @ BlakeHoulihan, i'd never lose faith in my team, i've loved this game ever since i started playing as a seven year old, i'll support the black caps to the day i die through thick and thin but im also i realist and understand that foriegn cricket boards don't share the same love for my team, the big 3 take over has given us more games against them because they had too to get us to say yes to it but now the others arn't being so accomadating, bit of a shame, im sure nz cricket will get us tours so im not too worried, and i'll be supporting them all the way.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 12, 2014, 6:40 GMT

    @kiwicricketnut - I understand where you are coming from. But there is still a FTP in place, it's not going away. And you know better than most, that we haven't been getting many of the tours, or rather the length of the tour, that we really want in the recent past. So I ask, what has changed for us? Not that much. We kiwi cricket fans are the most optimistic in the world, and if people like you are losing faith, then that is very worrying indeed. I consider cricket in New Zealand to be moving in a positive direction, as does the body of New Zealand cricket.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 12, 2014, 3:58 GMT

    Winchester666 - That attitude is not necessary. Yes I understand what it takes to win a series. Series wins happen all the time. Unfortunately not by us. If we can't be competitive and win series away from home, it's much less of a draw card for the fans. Do you understand?

    G-Wyl - Look what you said. "We are barely one rung higher than Ireland", yet you want to be on the same playing field as the big nations? This is exactly what I'm talking about. Work hard, get results, get respect, improve, be given more opportunities. More people will pay to watch a competitive match, which will generate more revenue. I'm not saying we will match Australia or England, but we can become a more attractive proposition, a'la South Africa, if we play well. What is so hard to understand about that?

  • POSTED BY kiwicricketnut on | July 12, 2014, 2:49 GMT

    even if we were ranked in the top 3 in the world, teams wouldn't really want us touring because we just don't generate as much money as the bigger nations and so if a countries board can choose who they want to tour why would they choose us? plus being beaten by little old nz isn't a good look or good for their rankings, their really isn't much incentive to have us, thats why the future tours programme was the fairest way.

  • POSTED BY G-Wyll on | July 11, 2014, 23:07 GMT

    Blake. It is completely about money. Viewer enjoyment? It wouldn't matter whether we are ranked 1 or 10. We're not a big fish generating big bucks and therefore will always be sidelined - which we most certainly have been. Laughable to think anyone in nz cricket would disagree. Looking back on the good old days? I said I remembered when cricket was a sport instead of a game of global chess where huge amounts of cash generated by a tedious new format allowed India to steal the control of the game to the detriment of all 'lesser' nations, except for their sloggers. Loved those days. Sorry mate, doesn't mean a thing how well we perform. I applaud your optimism but ask the Irish what they think? They deserve test cricket and have done for a generation now. Will they get it? Nope. We're barely one rung higher on the ladder than them.

  • POSTED BY Winchester666 on | July 11, 2014, 19:44 GMT

    So what if they weren't series victories? They were drawn series none the less. Do you not realise how hard it is to win a series away from home in modern cricket, let alone winning one test??? SMH.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 11, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    Of course I recall our victories in Sri Lanka and Australia, but they were not series victories. 12 years since the one in the West Indies Stevie. 12. And who did we last beat 12 years ago? West Indies. And after those isolated wins in Aus and SL, came humiliating losses against South Africa in SA, England in England and a drawn series in Bangladesh. We have won 3 Test series in a row yes, but two were against the West Indies side.

  • POSTED BY StevieS on | July 11, 2014, 13:22 GMT

    BlakeHoulihan another thing we are currently ranked above WI and Sri Lanka (once the rankings are updated) so we aren't competitive doesn't hold any water except for South Africa and maybe Pakistan, although it would take a brave man to put money on Pakistan thrashing us at the moment.

  • POSTED BY StevieS on | July 11, 2014, 8:49 GMT

    BlakeHoulihan we have won 3 test seriesin a row as well as beating both Sri Lanka and Australia the last time we played against them.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 11, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    @G-Wyll - Actually, it is not just about money. It is also about competition and enjoyment for the viewer - which in turn will generate money. How can we expect 3 Test series based on our past performances? How can other teams see it as economically viable if we aren't competitive? Just because we have won a few Tests in the past year it doesn't change the last decade or so. We just won our first away series in 12 years - 12! We need to be patient and work hard to improve, and yes the rewards will come. There is always the option for additional series based on mutual agreements between boards, as has always been the case. No one wants to pay to watch one sided matches - THAT is what will sideline us. Stop looking back at "the good old days" and realise that cricketers get paid a hell of a lot more than back then. Everyone involved in NZ Cricket will disagree with your statement that "we are being sidelined". We've barely had any 3 Test away tours the past decade, so what's changed?

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | July 11, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    Blake Houlihan is right. Fortunately for NZ, they have got good young players coming through, if a fey years they may well be in the top 5 teams in the world then there will be no excuses for other countries not to host NZ.

  • POSTED BY Rolfardeo on | July 11, 2014, 2:41 GMT

    The scheduling of cricket and particularly test cricket has always been a joke and it is becoming worse all the time! What other team sport has such an impotent governing body? Why do they not have any power to assign match schedules fairly? They are completely held to ransom by a few teams, which is a destructive way to run a sporting code. The ICC are constantly telling us that they want to "grow and improve the game" and yet they are so hamstrung that the only real influence they weild is over the second tier teams around the world. There needs to be a more fair distribution of matches, a minimum of three match series (no more pointless 2 match series) and nations that continually don't want to play because it is not profitable should loose their test status. Until something like this happens the gap in quality between the top and bottom teams will increase. Cricket will suffer to the point where it will fail as a true international sport.

  • POSTED BY slasher on | July 11, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    Building on what BlakeHoulihan has stated, I hope that teams are rewarded for improvement but this still seems to be reliant on the discretion of the boards of the big three. How can you plan for games 9 years away when you don't know how good or bad a side will be and what attraction it will have to the public? NZ might unearth the next superstars of cricket in 6 years and everyone will want to see them. maybe the best way is to have a framework of a test schedule however offer some incentive in the way of better tests if they improve their ranking, and have this as a tangible reword written into the FTP

  • POSTED BY hunain94 on | July 10, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    i think all those who have supported big three at start got trolled and pakistan who have resisted them got most benefits

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2014, 20:31 GMT

    They are scared....who wants to play a team that is a threat...if NZ were an easy beat or a drawed series it more beneficial for other teams rankings...yet NZ is possibly the hottest team in cricket over the last 10 games each nation has played.

    Cricket needs an independent bard that says all test teams need to play on a home and away basis every 3-4 years.

  • POSTED BY G-Wyll on | July 10, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Don't kid yourself Blake, countries touring nz has nothing to do with how well we perform. It's about making money. ''If we are successful we will be rewarded' -really? You see us being rewarded in the article above? Playing t20 tournaments won't make any difference. We're being sidelined, just as predicted.

    Anyone remember when cricket was a sport? I loved those days.

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    If the costs of playing the so called low 7 teams is is cut down by some measures, it would be possible to ensure better and more exciting Cricket.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 10, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    This FTP is based on a lot of poor performances by NZ during away tours. If we become a really good Test team then we will get more invitations and crowds in other countries will be more interested in watching their team compete against us. We kiwi fans know our team is improving rapidly. If we are successful, we will be rewarded. For now, all we can do is work hard, be patient and ensure as many players as possible compete in county cricket, IPL, CPL etc. during the off season when we have no cricket scheduled.

  • POSTED BY Triple_A on | July 10, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Ha, so it is SL, Pak, WI and SA who are now unwilling to play NZ. These are the teams that were cribbing about not getting enough games from the Big Three, but are now themselves not ready to play less lucrative teams. Really stinks!

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  • POSTED BY Triple_A on | July 10, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    Ha, so it is SL, Pak, WI and SA who are now unwilling to play NZ. These are the teams that were cribbing about not getting enough games from the Big Three, but are now themselves not ready to play less lucrative teams. Really stinks!

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 10, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    This FTP is based on a lot of poor performances by NZ during away tours. If we become a really good Test team then we will get more invitations and crowds in other countries will be more interested in watching their team compete against us. We kiwi fans know our team is improving rapidly. If we are successful, we will be rewarded. For now, all we can do is work hard, be patient and ensure as many players as possible compete in county cricket, IPL, CPL etc. during the off season when we have no cricket scheduled.

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2014, 16:46 GMT

    If the costs of playing the so called low 7 teams is is cut down by some measures, it would be possible to ensure better and more exciting Cricket.

  • POSTED BY G-Wyll on | July 10, 2014, 19:13 GMT

    Don't kid yourself Blake, countries touring nz has nothing to do with how well we perform. It's about making money. ''If we are successful we will be rewarded' -really? You see us being rewarded in the article above? Playing t20 tournaments won't make any difference. We're being sidelined, just as predicted.

    Anyone remember when cricket was a sport? I loved those days.

  • POSTED BY on | July 10, 2014, 20:31 GMT

    They are scared....who wants to play a team that is a threat...if NZ were an easy beat or a drawed series it more beneficial for other teams rankings...yet NZ is possibly the hottest team in cricket over the last 10 games each nation has played.

    Cricket needs an independent bard that says all test teams need to play on a home and away basis every 3-4 years.

  • POSTED BY hunain94 on | July 10, 2014, 22:36 GMT

    i think all those who have supported big three at start got trolled and pakistan who have resisted them got most benefits

  • POSTED BY slasher on | July 11, 2014, 0:49 GMT

    Building on what BlakeHoulihan has stated, I hope that teams are rewarded for improvement but this still seems to be reliant on the discretion of the boards of the big three. How can you plan for games 9 years away when you don't know how good or bad a side will be and what attraction it will have to the public? NZ might unearth the next superstars of cricket in 6 years and everyone will want to see them. maybe the best way is to have a framework of a test schedule however offer some incentive in the way of better tests if they improve their ranking, and have this as a tangible reword written into the FTP

  • POSTED BY Rolfardeo on | July 11, 2014, 2:41 GMT

    The scheduling of cricket and particularly test cricket has always been a joke and it is becoming worse all the time! What other team sport has such an impotent governing body? Why do they not have any power to assign match schedules fairly? They are completely held to ransom by a few teams, which is a destructive way to run a sporting code. The ICC are constantly telling us that they want to "grow and improve the game" and yet they are so hamstrung that the only real influence they weild is over the second tier teams around the world. There needs to be a more fair distribution of matches, a minimum of three match series (no more pointless 2 match series) and nations that continually don't want to play because it is not profitable should loose their test status. Until something like this happens the gap in quality between the top and bottom teams will increase. Cricket will suffer to the point where it will fail as a true international sport.

  • POSTED BY xtrafalgarx on | July 11, 2014, 5:28 GMT

    Blake Houlihan is right. Fortunately for NZ, they have got good young players coming through, if a fey years they may well be in the top 5 teams in the world then there will be no excuses for other countries not to host NZ.

  • POSTED BY BlakeHoulihan on | July 11, 2014, 5:29 GMT

    @G-Wyll - Actually, it is not just about money. It is also about competition and enjoyment for the viewer - which in turn will generate money. How can we expect 3 Test series based on our past performances? How can other teams see it as economically viable if we aren't competitive? Just because we have won a few Tests in the past year it doesn't change the last decade or so. We just won our first away series in 12 years - 12! We need to be patient and work hard to improve, and yes the rewards will come. There is always the option for additional series based on mutual agreements between boards, as has always been the case. No one wants to pay to watch one sided matches - THAT is what will sideline us. Stop looking back at "the good old days" and realise that cricketers get paid a hell of a lot more than back then. Everyone involved in NZ Cricket will disagree with your statement that "we are being sidelined". We've barely had any 3 Test away tours the past decade, so what's changed?