The Indian cricket team will open its tour of New Zealand with an ODI in Napier, while Auckland and Wellington have been awarded the two Test matches in the list of venues announced for next year’s series here on Tuesday.
The series, comprising five one-dayers and two Test matches, will start on January 19 next year. The Indian tour will see Test cricket return to Eden Park after the success of this year’s England Test attended by 39,000 fans.
The second Test will be held at the country’s premier Test venue, the Hawkins Basin Reserve, which sold out on the Saturday of the England Test.
“Hamilton’s Seddon Park will host two One-Day Internationals, while Aucklanders and Wellingtonians will get to enjoy both a Test and an ODI when the Indians tour this summer,” the NZC said in a statement.
The series against the current ICC World Cup champion will also feature a two-day warm-up game in Whangarei before the Test series.
The Indian tour follows three Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s against the West Indies — giving New Zealand fans 37 days of international cricket at home this summer.
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White said it will be an Indian summer in the Waikato.
“We felt that with the Tests in Wellington and Auckland, that Hamilton was the best spot for a second one-dayer with a large Indian population on their doorstep,” he said.
International and domestic broadcasters request that ODIs are day-night matches played under lights, and White said only four New Zealand venues have permanent lights.
Northern Districts Chief Executive Peter Roach said they’re excited about hosting the world champion ODI team on two occasions.
“Seddon Park will soon feel like a second home to the Indian team as it is also scheduled for a Cricket World Cup fixture in Hamilton in 2015,” he said.
“India is a much-loved team with a large number of passionate supporters, and our fans will be eager to see how the Black caps, after recent success in one-dayers, go against the best one year out from hosting the World Cup,” he added.