New Zealand's Home Season
Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and post-IPL 2020, New Zealand's home season is all set to commence on November 27. West Indies, Pakistan, Australia, and Bangladesh are the four teams that will tour New Zealand. While both the West Indies and Pakistan will play test matches that will be a part of the World Test Championship, Australia will visit for only T20Is.
Firstly, the West Indies will arrive in the country and are scheduled to play three T20Is and two Tests starting on November 27 at Eden Park in Auckland. Following this, Pakistan will visit the nation to play the same number of T20Is as well as tests. The series will consist of a Boxing Day test match. Post that, New Zealand will be visited by neighbouring nation Australia and the tour will consist of five T20Is. This home season will end with the limited-overs series with Bangladesh on March 28 in Hamilton.
During the announcement of New Zealand's home season, David White, the Chief Executive of New Zealand Cricket, expressed his excitement. He said, "I'm thrilled to be making this announcement today, given the uncertainty and difficulties over the past six or seven months." Also, he thanked the national government and the broadcasters. "We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the New Zealand government for helping us navigate this complex process, as we do to our commercial partners and especially Spark Sport and TVNZ, for their patience and understanding," he added.
The most important takeaway from this season will be the fact that there might be some crowd in the stadium. With the COVID-19 battle almost over in the country, there will also be no need to maintain the bio-bubble post quarantine period. As there are no restrictions in the country, New Zealand Cricket will be confident about the crowd participation in almost all matches of the home season. While appreciating the efforts of their counterpart, the Pakistan Cricket Board Director Zakir Khan said, "New Zealand boasts some outstanding cricket facilities with supportive and knowledgeable crowds. Pakistan has always enjoyed touring New Zealand and has performed well there, and we look forward to similar performances from our side on this tour."
Sourav Ganguly says the BCCI will try to host the England series in India
On the other hand, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly expressed the priority to host the test series between England and India in India. Starting January next year, England is scheduled to tour India for five Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is. There were rumours that this series will be played in the UAE. However, Sourav Ganguly said, "The priority is to make this (series against England) happen in India. We will try to make this happen on Indian grounds."
The Indian Premier League was shifted to the UAE owing to the number of COVID-19 positive cases. The ongoing pandemic has hit India the worst, giving rise to over six million infected people and over 95,000 deaths. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, India's domestic season, which should have kicked off by now, is delayed indefinitely. While talking about the domestic season, Ganguly said, "We are monitoring it. We want to have our domestic season. We have all the combinations, situations ready in our minds. We will try and make it happen as much as we can." "Everything is fluid. It's been hard for the last six months to keep everything in order. You want your cricket to happen. You want lives to get back to normal. There are players involved. But you also want to have a close look at the COVID situation," he added.
Here's the full cricket schedule for the next few months
New Zealand Home Season 2020-21
New Zealand V West Indies
· 1st T20I – 27 Nov, Eden Park, Auckland
· 2nd T20I – 29 Nov, Bay Oval, Tauranga
· 3rd T20I – 30 Nov, Bay Oval, Tauranga
· 1st Test – 3-7 Dec, Seddon Park, Hamilton
· 2nd Test – 11-15 Dec, Basin Reserve, Wellington
New Zealand V Pakistan
· 1st T20I – 18 Dec, Eden Park, Auckland
· 2nd T20I – 20 Dec, Seddon Park, Hamilton
· 3rd T20I – 22 Dec, McLean Park, Napier
· 1st Test – 26-30 Dec, Bay Oval, Tauranga
· 2nd Test – 3-7 Jan, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
New Zealand V Australia
· 1st T20I – 22 Feb, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
· 2nd T20I – 25 Feb, University of Otago Oval, Dunedin
· 3rd T20I – 3 Mar, Sky Stadium, Wellington
· 4th T20I – 5 Mar, Eden Park, Auckland
· 5th T20I – 7 Mar, Bay Oval, Tauranga
New Zealand V Bangladesh
· 1st ODI – 13 Mar, University of Otago Oval, Dunedin
· 2nd ODI – 17 Mar, Hagley Oval, Christchurch
· 3rd ODI – 20 Mar, Basin Reserve, Wellington
· 1st T20I – 23 Mar, McLean Park, Napier
· 2nd T20I – 26 Mar, Eden Park, Auckland
· 3rd T20I – 28 Mar, Seddon Park, Hamilton
England tour of India 2021
Five Tests, three ODIs, and three T20Is to be played between January and March. The full schedule is yet to be announced.
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