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Large gaps in New Zealand's FTP schedule

ESPNcricinfo staff

July 10, 2014

Comments: 24 | Text size: A | A

A scoreboard attendant at the fall of BJ Watling's dismissal, New Zealand v India, 2nd Test, 4th day, Wellington, February 17, 2014
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 © Getty Images
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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".

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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.

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