Nelson’s Saxton Oval will host its first men’s international cricket match and the BLACKCAPS will return to Queenstown when the West Indies tour New Zealand in December and January.
As part of the ANZ International Series, the West Indies will play three Tests, five One Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals in eight towns and cities from Auckland to Queenstown, with the three Tests at the country’s premier Test venues in Dunedin, Wellington and Hamilton.
In a move to take the BLACKCAPS to New Zealand’s top holiday spots over the Christmas/New Year period, Napier will host the second ANZ ODI on 29 December, the action will move to Queenstown on New Year’s Day, and three days later the BLACKCAPS will head to Nelson.
New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive Officer David White says the intention is to build an annual series of matches at popular holiday destinations with international grounds.
“It will be fantastic to see the BLACKCAPS playing in these hotspots and we’re hopeful the holiday crowds will be out in force to support their national side.
“And we’re delighted to bring Boxing Day action back to our biggest city as these matches at Eden Park have been really successful in the past.”
Nelson Cricket Association General Manager Ed Shuttleworth says they are extremely proud to be hosting their first men’s international.
“To bring international cricket to our region has been a goal for many years and achieving this is a moment of real pride for all those involved in developing cricket and the facilities in the region. The legacy of international cricket will be significant with participation increasing and kids being inspired by seeing the BLACKCAPS in their home town.”
Saxton Oval has previously held a women’s international and will host three pool matches during ICC Cricket World Cup 2015.
Queenstown Lakes District Council Chief Executive Adam Feeley says the announcement is great news for Queenstown and a wonderful chance to showcase the district’s attractions.
“We are sure that an exciting team like the West Indies will attract a great crowd and demonstrate why Queenstown supports major sporting events.”
Fresh off the announcement Wellington and Auckland will host playoff matches in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, White says the matches played at Westpac Stadium and Eden Park will provide these venues with good preparation for the tournament.
White is still awaiting details of the Indian tour planned for late January and February 2014.
“I have to admit discussions with the Board of Cricket Control for India have taken longer than we hoped but we should be able to announce the tour schedule in the next few weeks”.
There will be an announcement in November on ticketing for the ANZ International Series.