New Zealand Sports Minister Grant Robertson believes the country can successfully host international teams for their home summer.
Robertson has moved to rubber stamp inbound cricket tours by the end of September.
New Zealand Cricket plan to host 21 men’s internationals (four Tests, three ODIs and 14 T20Is) and two women’s series against Australia and England, throughout their summer.
New Zealand to rubber stamp home summer
The country put in a bid to host a rescheduled Rugby Championship, and despite losing out to Australia, Robertson feels that country is ready to host international sport.
To date, only England have staged any international cricket, but Sri Lanka could welcome Bangladesh in October and New Zealand plan to accommodate Pakistan in November.
Robertson confirmed that approval for the inbound tours should be achieved soon with immigration officials finalising details with sporting bodies.
“The discussions have been good and generally speaking they’ve been very comfortable with the various criteria and arrangements that we’ve been working on,” Robertson told Stuff.
“I’m not going to say it’s signed, sealed and delivered but the discussions have been positive, just as they have been with rugby as well.
“We did put a [Rugby Championship] bid in that I still think was credible and strong and those positive discussions we’ve had with rugby have been mirrored with the other sports. We feel we are ready to host international teams.”
NZC are unwilling to release their home season schedule until they have concrete approval for the internationals.
“We’re awaiting a decision from the Government and we don’t want to comment before we’ve received that,” NZC said in a statement.
New Zealand’s domestic first-class competition, the Plunket Shield is reportedly set to start on 19 October but won’t be confirmed until the international dates have been confirmed.
NZC Chief executive David White revealed their intention to host the West Indies, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Australia over a maximum of 37 days across four months.
The White Ferns get their season underway when they face world champions Australia at Brisbane’s Allan Border Field in front of restricted crowds between 26 September and 7 October, for three T20s and three ODIs.
The women’s team hope to welcome Australia and England for inbound tours that will include a T20I tri-series.