AUCKLAND, New Zealand – West Indies beleaguered’ batsmen will be getting a chance to redeem themselves after their disappointing 2-1 loss to England in the recently concluded bio-secure three-match Test series.
Cricket New Zealand said today they expected West Indies to tour shortly as part of a packed summer of cricket which will also see Pakistan, Australia and Bangladesh featuring prominently.
David White, the NZC chief executive, said he had already received confirmation from Cricket West Indies that the Caribbean side would undertake a bilateral tour, expected to be played under the same bio-secure conditions which governed West Indies’ three-Test tour of England.
.The COVID-19 pandemic outbreak forced the cessation of cricket globally for nearly four months until the Windies’ recent tour which was heavily financed by the England and Wales Cricket Board.
“We are making tremendous progress. I was just on the phone to the West Indies, they’re confirmed, Pakistan is confirmed, Australia and Bangladesh … so 37 days of international cricket,” White told the media.
“The White Ferns will tour Australia in September and then the Australia Women’s team will tour New Zealand in February. We are just working through the content but probably five ODIs and three T20Is.
“We’ll just be held up for a week or two while we work with the government agencies on the managed isolation but they’ve been extremely supportive.”
White did not indicate whether the West Indies tour would comprise Tests or limited overs matches but the Windies were scheduled to tour New Zealand for three Tests in November under the Future Tours Programme.
New Zealand had been carded to tour the Caribbean for three One-Day Internationals and three Twenty20 Internationals last month but the series was scrapped due to the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
White said NZC was currently collaborating with government on measures to guide protocols for the upcoming tours, which would involve a now standard two-week quarantine for all arriving players.
New Zealand has been widely praised for the efficient manner in which it has handled the pandemic, making it one of the safest countries across the globe. There have been only 1 575 cases and 22 deaths arising from the virus.
Only Monday, the country announced another phase of lockdown in Auckland following the discovery of four cases. Before this week, New Zealand had gone 102 days without a single locally transmitted case of COVID-19.
The new cases will likely see Auckland move to Alert Level 3 from tomorrow with the rest of the country moving to Alert Level 2.
NZC has already confirmed a new deal for radio coverage of cricket in New Zealand with MediaWorks Radio. Earlier this year, previous rights holders NZME confirmed they would not be extending their broadcast deal with commentary on Radio Sport, a station which has now been taken off the air.
The last time the men’s team was in action was in the behind-closed-doors ODI against Australia at the SCG in mid-March shortly before that tour was called off with New Zealand needing to get home before the borders were closed.
The women’s team are set to be the first back on the field with their trip to Australia in late September that includes three T20Is and three ODIs.
The Women’s ODI World Cup, which was due to be staged in February and March next year, was postponed by 12 months earlier this week when it was decided that there would not be sufficient time for teams to qualify and prepare for the tournament. (Cricinfo)