New Zealand to host Zimbabwe next year

June 24th, 2011 - 9:47 pm ICT by IANS  

Ross Taylor Wellington, June 24 (IANS) New Zealand Friday waived travel sanctions on Zimbabwe and will be hosting them for the first time in 11 years in January-February as part of their schedule for the home season of international cricket for 2011-2012.

The Black Caps will open the international summer with one Test, three One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 matches against Zimbabwe Jan 26-Feb 14.

The New Zealand schedule also includes South Africa, who will tour from Feb 17 to March 27, for three Tests, three one-dayers and three Twenty20s.

“It will be a very challenging summer of international cricket and we are looking forward to taking on South Africa and Zimbabwe at home in front of our fans,” New Zealand captain Ross Taylor said.

“South Africa are currently ranked second in the world Test rankings so the three-Test series against them will be an excellent gauge of our progress.”

However, no matches have been scheduled for Christchurch, where the city’s AMI Stadium was closed down owing to the devastating earthquake earlier this year.

“Unfortunately, we have not been able to allocate any matches to AMI Stadium, in Christchurch,” said New Zealand Cricket (NZC) CEO Justin Vaughan.

“Following damage to AMI Stadium from the February earthquakes and subsequent uncertainty about timelines for remediation due to on-going aftershocks, New Zealand Cricket was advised that it could not absolutely guarantee that the venue would be available to host international cricket in the coming season.”

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