New Zealand to host India Women for one T20I, five ODIs ahead of 2022 ODI World Cup
The bilateral series kicks off on February 9 and ends on February 24, with the Women's ODI World Cup starting on March 4 in Mount Maunganui
India will play a six-match bilateral series comprising a T20I and five ODIs in February on their tour of New Zealand, before the two teams join six other sides in the Women's ODI World Cup scheduled for March-April.
The series, key to both teams fine-tuning their plans and combinations for the World Cup, will get underway on February 9 with the one-off T20I at McLean Park in Napier and will be followed by the first ODI at the same venue two days later. The Saxton Oval in Nelson will then host the second and third ODIs, on February 14 and 16, with the final two ODIs to be played at the John Davies Oval in Queenstown on February 22 and 24. None of the venues are slated to host any of the 31 World Cup fixtures, which will be played at Eden Park, Seddon Park, Bay Oval, University Oval and Basin Reserve, with Hagley Oval hosting the final.
The bilateral series will be both teams' first assignment in 2022, a year with two major events on the women's cricket calendar - the rescheduled ODI World Cup, to be hosted in New Zealand for the first time in 22 years, and the Commonwealth Games in July-August.
The World Cup, originally scheduled for 2021, was postponed in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic. NZC chief executive David White acknowledged the delay in announcing the summer schedule, explaining it was inevitable given the impact of the pandemic both in New Zealand and abroad, and the knock-on effects on international travel.
"It hasn't been a straight-forward process and we've needed to work through a number of unexpected changes before finalising the arrangements," White said in an NZC release. "Having said that, I'm delighted with the volume and quality of the international cricket to be played over the summer, particularly given the importance of, and the relevance connected to these games. The India series is a crucial part of the WHITE FERNS' [New Zealand Women's] World Cup preparations."
The two teams last squared off against each other in a bilateral series in January-February 2019, when New Zealand hosted India for six limited-overs games. India clinched the ODI series 2-1 while New Zealand handed them a 3-0 sweep in the T20I leg of the tour.
India's last international outing was a seven-match tour of Australia in September-October this year, which featured three ODIs and T20Is apiece and a pink-ball Test. New Zealand, meanwhile, last played in September, when they toured England, losing the T20I series 1-2 and the five-ODI series 1-4.