The BLACKCAPS have been presented with a new tour schedule after the International Cricket Council (ICC) launched its new six-year Future Tours Programme.
The ICC believes the schedule, which was unanimously approved by the ICC’s Executive Board at its March meeting in Dubai, “provides the foundation for a balanced schedule of international cricket for ICC Full Members”.
ICC Chief Executive Officer Malcolm Speed said: “The drafting of the new FTP was an incredibly complex process involving two years of analysis and 10 drafts.
“But now that process has been completed and approved by our Members it provides them with certainty of scheduling right through until 2012.
“And by publishing that schedule on our website it means everyone can quickly discover their team’s future commitments and be able to plan accordingly.”
Under the new timetable, the BLACKCAPS begin their warm up to next year’s World Cup with a home series against Sri Lanka, before a VB Series in Australia and a Chappell-Hadlee Trophy campaign on home soil.
After the Caribbean competition, the team will take on all major cricket nations over the next five years of the FTP.
The 2011 World Cup in south Asia and Twenty20 competitions, in South Africa (2007) and England (2009) are also incorporated.
Spreading the calendar over six years means each side can fulfill its mandatory minimum requirements of two Tests and three One-Day Internationals, home and away, against every other full member nation.
Other factors considered included regular home and away Test and ODI cricket for all ICC Full Members, consideration of player workload guidelines, protection of the status of Test cricket and ‘icon’ series, recognition of the importance of global development and a controlled volume of international Twenty20 cricket.
ICC general manager David Richardson added: “We think the balance that has been struck by this new FTP is about right and we believe that in conjunction with the ICC events it will help ensure that the sport continues to remain popular with players, supporters, broadcasters and sponsors.
“It is now up to our Members to responsibly manage their calendar of international cricket beyond the mandatory commitments of the FTP and ICC events.”
The England v Sri Lanka series, which begins at Lord’s on Thursday, starts the new cycle.
for the BLACKCAPS' schedule 2006-2012
for the full ICC Future Tours Programme (pdf format)