New Zealand an­nounces se­ries against Pak­istan, Sri Lanka and Aus­tralia


New Zealand Cricket on Thurs­day an­nounced de­tails of up­com­ing tours in­volv­ing Pak­istan, Sri Lanka and Aus­tralia, as the Black Caps seek to cap­i­talise on their stir­ring run to the World Cup fi­nal.

The in­ter­na­tional ac­tion over the New Zealand sum­mer will fea­ture four Tests, 11 one­day­ers and five Twenty20 matches. The Black Caps en­joyed a surge in pop­u­lar­ity in rugby-mad New Zealand when they reached the World Cup fi­nal this year in a tour­na­ment they co-hosted with Aus­tralia. While they fell flat against the Aus­tralians in the fi­nal, cap­tain Bren­don McCul­lum said the up­com­ing sched­ule of­fered home fans a chance to again see their team play­ing top-class op­po­si­tion.

"Look­ing at this sched­ule, there's some re­ally ex­cit­ing op­po­si­tion in front of us," he told re­porters. "So hope­fully we can build on what we did last year and also at the World Cup, drive this team for­ward and keep im­prov­ing our per­for­mances." Sri Lanka ar­rive first, play­ing two Tests, five ODIs and two T20s be­tween De­cem­ber 10 and Jan­uary 10.

Pak­istan then em­bark on a whistlestop tour in­volv­ing three T20s and three ODI from Jan­uary 15-31, with Aus­tralia wrap­ping up the sched­ule with three one-day­ers and two Tests be­tween Fe­bru­ary 3 and Fe­bru­ary 24.

The first Test against Aus­tralia in Welling­ton could po­ten­tially be McCul­lum's 100th and the 33-year-old, who suf­fers chronic back pain, was coy about whether he would con­sider re­tire­ment af­ter reach­ing the mile­stone.

"I'm not sure, we'll see what un­folds," he said. "It'd be great to achieve that, to play 100 Tests. It's some­thing you could look back on and be very proud of, but it's not what mo­ti­vates me."

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