Calcutta: India will tour New Zealand for a month in mid-January for five ODIs and two Tests, with the first one-dayer to be played on January 19 and the second Test ending on February 18. New Zealand Cricket’s media release came a day after the BCCI’s working committee approved the tour.
The announcement increased the uncertainty surrounding India’s tour of South Africa, the itinerary of which is yet to be finalised.
The New Zealand tour was scheduled to begin in early February, according to the ICC Future Tours Programme, but will now start around two to three weeks earlier, eating into the time allotted for the South Africa tour.
The venues will be announced next week.
In fact, according to the itinerary announced by Cricket South Africa in July, and objected to by the BCCI, the third and final Test in Johannesburg was to end on January 19, the day on which India will play their first of the five one-day Internationals in New Zealand.
The South Africa trip had been put in doubt after it was left out of a list of upcoming series announced by the BCCI on Sunday, which included a freshly-planned home series against the West Indies in November.
West Indies will then will travel to New Zealand after playing in the subcontinent, for a series that starts on December 3 and ends on January 15, four days before the home team's first game against India.
Initially the New Zealand tour was supposed to have three Tests, five one-dayers and one Twenty20 International to be held in February-March.
NZC chief executive David White said: “It’s brilliant that the Black Caps will be playing five ODIs against the world’s top one-day side given the proximity of World Cup in 2015.”
White said he was unaware about the itinerary of India's tour of South Africa but added that NZC had finalised the dates only after discussions with the BCCI.
White did not want to speculate on why the BCCI's release on Sunday had not included the dates but confirmed both boards had worked together on the final itinerary.
“Those dates have been signed off with the BCCI. We had been in discussions just before the (BCCI) working committee meeting and worked through the dates and that was ratified at the meeting,” White told a website.
India last toured New Zealand in 2009.
Meanwhile, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has agreed to host India for five Test matches in a series which will also include five ODIs and a Twenty20 International next year.
“India will play a five-match Test series in this country for the first time since 1959 with Trent Bridge, Lord’s, The Ageas Bowl, Emirates Old Trafford and The Kia Oval all hosting Investec Test Matches,” the ECB said in a statement.
Leicestershire, Derbyshire and Middlesex will host tour matches against India who last toured England in 2011.
“This will be the first time England has hosted India in a five-Test series in more than 50 years and the length of the series reflects the iconic status which contests between these two great cricketing nations now enjoy,” ECB chief executive David Collier said.