New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has shuffled the upcoming home international fixtures in order to reduce the risk of travel between venues following the concerns over the surge in Covid-19 cases. The second New Zealand-South Africa Test and the first two New Zealand-Australia ODIs have been taken out of Wellington now and the venues have been revised instead.
South Africa will play the Kiwis in Christchurch in both the Tests now while the Australian side will be playing all their three ODIs in Napier. The New Zealand side will also be hosting the Netherlands for one T20 international and three ODIs and the series will get underway from the 25th of March at Bay Oval. Meanwhile, New Zealand Women’s series against India (one Twenty20 and five ODIs) will be played solely in Queenstown from February 9 to February 24.
NZC chief executive explains the risk involved in travelling
NZC chief executive David White mentioned that the venues have been shifted to make sure that the risks of Covid-19 are curbed down and added that various factors have been considered in the decision making. He also noted that domestic flights and hotels are the peak of risks for the players and felt pity for the fans in Wellington who will be missing the cricketing action.
“These risk mitigations are based on avoiding known COVID-19 hotspots, and include limiting air travel, limiting accommodation transfers and, essentially, operating in safer environments,” said NZ Cricket chief executive White according to India Today.
“We know the more domestic flights we have, and the more movement there is between hotels, the greater the chance of a match or even a series being put at risk. It’s a very difficult time for everyone,” he added.
New Zealand’s revised schedule
New Zealand vs South Africa: Two Tests in Christchurch (Feb 17-March 1)
New Zealand vs Australia: Three ODIs in Napier (March 17-20)
New Zealand vs Netherlands: One T20I and three ODIs in Mount Maunganui and Hamilton (March 25-April 4)
New Zealand vs India: One T20I and five ODIs in Queenstown (Feb. 9-24)