7 May 2015

Black Caps coach calls for longer series

12:37 pm on 7 May 2015

The New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson believes his side is worthy of longer series than their upcoming two-Test campaign in England.

The New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson.

The New Zealand cricket coach Mike Hesson. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

"We've started to earn the right now to play longer series than two Tests," Hesson says. "That's something we are looking forward to and our administrators want to make it happen."

A two-match contest is the minimum required to constitute a series by the International Cricket Council (ICC), the sport's governing body.

But Australia seamer Ryan Harris voiced a widespread concern when he labelled two-Test series "pointless".

"I think some of it has been performance, I think we've been down the pecking order in terms of our ranking," says Hesson, whose side are now fifth in the standings to England's fourth.

But New Zealand have won four and drawn two of their six Test series since losing 2-0 in England in 2013.

"For 18 months we've played good cricket, six series in a row Test wise.".

New Zealand, historically, have not tended to be viewed as a big drawcard by other countries and so have rarely played Test series longer than three matches, however the first three days of the first Test against England, starting on May 22nd at Lord's, have sold out, with fourth-day tickets almost gone.

But as on New Zealand's last visit to the UK two years ago, Australia are also touring England this year.

With administrators in England and Australia adamant the Ashes must be played over a 'full' five-Test campaign and English officials believing anything more than seven Tests in a home season is not a practical option, New Zealand face another two-Test series.

"Often, England have two (incoming) tours and we get the early one. We tend to be a bit of an entree to the Ashes, it seems to be the way we've been used in the past," says Hesson.

Now New Zealand will face an England side who were recently held to a 1-1 draw away to a West Indies team labelled "mediocre" by incoming England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves.

But Hesson says whatever their opponent's problems, winning a series in England would still be a landmark achievement

"We've won four Test matches here (England) in our history, so to win a series would be huge."

New Zealand begin their tour against Somerset on Friday night (NZ time) before playing another four-day warm-up match against Worcestershire, ahead of the Tests at Lord's, starting on May 22nd, and Headingley, starting on May 29th.

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