5 Jun 2015

More cricket than ever for Black Caps

4:21 pm on 5 June 2015

The Black Caps will face Australia in five Tests this summer and will play significantly more international cricket, under the terms of the new Future Tours programme negotiated by the national body.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates the wicket of England's Alastair Cook.

New Zealand's Kane Williamson celebrates the wicket of England's Alastair Cook. Photo: PHOTOSPORT

New Zealand Cricket chief executive David White's confirmed the Black Caps will play a minimum of five Tests against Australia this summer, as well as hosting incoming tours from Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

"Nothing's been written in stone yet regarding the Australia itinerary; no decision's been made," White says.

"However, we are exploring the possibility of having the best of both worlds - five Tests over the summer against Australia (three away; two at home), together with the revival of the Chappell-Hadlee one-day series on a sustainable basis."

New Zealand haven't played Australia in a Chappell-Hadlee series for five years, and in a Test match, for four - an anomaly White wants to rectify.

"We make no apology for wanting a closer working relationship with Cricket Australia," he says. "Regular competition against one of the best sides in the world is healthy for the Black Caps, NZC and all the stakeholders in our game."

He says a final decision on this summer's Australia itinerary would be not be announced until after an NZC board meeting later in the month.

"What I can say, however, is that we're now standing on the cusp of a new era in New Zealand cricket - an era in which we can expect significantly more international cricket on our shores."

"It used to be that two inbound tours each summer was the norm," said White. "But we have three inbound tours this summer, after which we will have four international teams visiting in 2016-17 and another four in 2017-18."

White says there will be no shortage of either Test or ODI cricket for Black Caps supporters.

The New Zealanders have just completed a drawn series against England with many complaining that it ended in an anti-climax, as the series only included two Tests.

The lack of a decider is one of the biggest talking points to come out of the thrilling but stunted series.

Fans, commentators and players alike are clamouring for more, with English pundits even suggesting, somewhat tongue in cheek, that the upcoming Ashes should be axed in favour of a seven-Test series against the Black Caps.

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