Plenty more T20 for NZ
Over the next five years, the Black Caps are set to play 59 T20 internationals – a figure that doesn’t include those they will have at two world tournaments, in Australia in October, 2020, and in India a year later – up from 48 over the past five years.
A return to the MCG to play in Australia’s annual Boxing Day test in 2019 may have been the eye-catcher when the International Cricket Council’s Future Tours Programme through to 2023 was revealed this week, but it’s the rise of T20 that should prove to be its defining feature. RISE OF TWENTY20 The Black Caps played a record 10 T20s at home last summer and while they will have just four next summer, that mark will be eclipsed in 2019-20, when they are set to play 13, and in 2020-21, when they play 18.
The 13 in 2019-20 include a five-match series with England in October-November, alongside two tests. They also include a five-match series with India, who will also play two tests, later that summer.
The 18 the following season will include a couple of series in October, before the World T20 in Australia, then four after it.
T20 may have been played internationally for 13 years, but many still find it hard to take seriously. The ICC and its members have decided to lead the way, but it remains to be seen if fans will be completely happy following. FEWER ONE-DAYERS With T20’s place in the international calendar growing, something has had to give, and it’s one-dayers.
The Black Caps played 91 ODIs in bilateral series during the past five years, but are only set to play 61 over the next five years – as well as those they will have at World Cups in England next June and in India in 2023.
One good bit of news from the FTP is the end of five-match series, at least as far as the Black Caps are concerned. India will play that many when they visit early next year, but after that it’s three matches with everyone, which will mean fewer dead rubbers.
One bit of bad news is that World Cups will be the only place the Black Caps play ODIs against England and South Africa during this period, at least as things stand right now, and that means two big rivalries will be on the backburner. TESTS NOT DEAD… YET Over the next five years, the FTP has the Black Caps playing 38 tests, just four fewer than over the past five years. While they would no doubt have preferred an unlikely increase, that will come as relief to test specialists like Jeet Raval and Neil Wagner.
A three-match series in Aust- ralia, featuring a Boxing Day test, in 2019-20, and a three-match series in England in 2022 stand out as the crown jewels, and they will need to be treasured.
Just 14 of the Black Caps’ 38 tests between now and 2023 will be against Australia, England, India and South Africa, while 23 will be against Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the West Indies. The other will be a historic fixture in Ireland in 2022. PHOTOSPORT
It’s fair to say the first four countries are bigger attractions than the last four. That’s especially true at home, but only six of the 14 matches against them will be played in New Zealand – four of them in the 2019-20 summer.
Five of the Black Caps’ 17 series in the next five years will consist of three tests, while 11 will have two tests, and the standalone fixture with Ireland rounds things out.
Leg-spinner Ish Sodhi should have more opportunities to showcase his talents in the T20 format for New Zealand in the next five years.