NEW ZEALAND CRICKET NEWS
White Ferns will play host to England, Australia besides a T20 tri-series in the window vacated by the Women’s World Cup. © Getty
New Zealand Cricket have edged closer to finalising their summer schedule of the 2020-21 season with the men’s teams of West Indies, Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh set to play in the country over 37 days of cricket.
NZC Chief David White confirmed to stuff.co.nz that finishing touches are being applied to an itinerary, which has since seen a bonus addition of a Women’s T20 tri-series tournament involving England and Australia in February 2021 vacated by the now-postponed Women’s World Cup. The Sophie Devine-led White Ferns are also set to separately play Australia (away) and England (at home) in bilateral ODI series this summer.
“We’re getting close now. We’re working with member countries, government agencies and venues and MAs [major associations], so we’re getting very close [to confirming the schedule]. It’s all looking positive. It’s also really positive for the White Ferns who’ve got a good programme,” White told Stuff.
Meanwhile, logistics planning is underway to facilitate the first of the men’s series against West Indies, that comprises T20Is and Tests. While an exact start date for that assignment is yet to be chalked out, it is highly likely that the Black Caps will end their COVID-induced hiatus only in the last week of November.
First team regulars including captain Kane Williamson, Trent Boult, Lockie Ferguson, James Neesham and Mitchell Santner will be involved in the IPL, which is slated to run till November 10. As per New Zealand government’s latest government regulations, the players flying back in from the UAE will be asked to quarantine for 14 days. West Indies players, too, are expected to fly in straight from UAE, although those not involved in the IPL will fly in earlier.
“Our guys will play the whole IPL, jump on a plane and come home, quarantine and get ready for the West Indies,” White said. “The West Indies will probably arrive in two waves, the first prior to the IPL finishing and the second wave of those who are involved in the IPL finals.
“We’re working through that with the Government, within their regulations, but teams will have the ability to train as well,” White said about the quarantine arrangements being put in place with an eye to facilitate continuous training.
Domestic cricket in the country, meanwhile, is expected to get underway with the Plunkett Shield in mid-October barring a second wave of the pandemic.