Christchurch, July 18 (IANS) New Zealand will host Australia for a Test series for the first time in eight years in the upcoming summer after hosting a Test series victory against South Africa as New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Tuesday announced the schedule for the 2023-24 home season.
The BlackCaps, who have never won a Test series against South Africa home or away, will square off against the Proteas in Tauranga (February 4 to 8) and Hamilton (February 13-17), ahead of hosting World Test Champions Australia for the first time since 2016, in Wellington and Christchurch from February 29.
The New Zealand men’s team begins their home season with three ODIs and three T20Is against Bangladesh in the last two weeks of December 2023 before hosting Pakistan in a five-match T20 series from January 12 to 21, 2024.
The New Zealand men then take on Australia in three T20Is from February 21 to 25, two of which will be played at Eden Park as a build-up to their ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024 campaign.
On the women’s side, New Zealand will host Pakistan in T20I and ODI series between December 3 and 18, 2023 after which they will play five T20Is and three ODIs against England from March 19 and April 7.
England will also bring their A team for white ball series against the New Zealand A team.
The first New Zealand international summer to be screened live on free-to-air TVNZ in 24 years.
NZC said the home international season includes ten double-headers (two games back-to-back at the same venue) in it attempts to address both the needs of different audiences and enhance the efficiency of its playing programme in an era of climate change awareness.
NZC chief executive David White said: “In terms of venues with lights, we’ve been able to schedule several back-to-back night matches and day matches to ensure good opportunities for both families and adult patrons, respectively, which we think is good for the game,” he said.
“It’s a strategy that also complements our need to prioritise energy efficiency – and to just do the right thing as a sports organisation, given the challenges we’re facing from climate change these days.”