New Zealand Cricket gets green light to host West Indies and Pakistan

New Zealand Cricket has received the green light from its government to host international cricket during coming summer which comprises series against the West Indies and Pakistan, CEO David White said on Friday.

NZC had been working to implement bio-secure bubble, similar to the one the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) created successfully in their recently concluded season in order to resume international cricket in the country post the coronavirus-forced hiatus.

“NZC has received Government approval to proceed with plans to host international touring sides this summer, in line with prescribed health protocols and beginning with @windiescricket and @TheRealPCB” the BlackCaps wrote on their official Twitter handle.

The cricket board said the details of West Indies and Pakistan’s tours will be announced early next week. According to the current Future Tours programme (FTP), New Zealand are slated to host West Indies and Pakistan for a Test and T20 series each.

White said the approval to host international tours comes as a big financial boost for the organisation.

“It’s a huge boost for us, it’s our financial lifeline. International cricket funds the whole game in New Zealand so it’s very important,” White told reporters.

“It won’t come cheap, we’ll be footing the bill, but we are happy to do that,” he added.

The Black Caps were also scheduled to travel to Australia for an ODI series but the fixture was on Friday postponed to next summer (2021-22) due to the pandemic.

“That 14-day managed isolation at both sides of the Tasman is a challenge. We’ve worked with Cricket Australia on that will be fulfilling our obligations the following year,” White said.

Teams from Paksitan and West Indies will need to undergo a phased isolation period upon arrival.

New Zealand players returning from the Indian Premier League, will also have to isolate themselves for the first three days in their hotel rooms. They will be able to train from day four in phased squad sizes set by the government, during which they will be tested for COVID-19 multiple times.

Cricketing activities in New Zealand came to a halt in late March owing to the pandemic.

Six of country’s top cricketers including captain Kane Williamson, pacers Trent Boult and Lockie Ferguson, all-rounder James Neesham are currently competing in the Indian Premier League, which will conclude on November 10.

New Zealand is one of the least affected places in the world. The country has so far recorded 1,829 confirmed cases with a majority of them having recovered.