New Zealand’s upcoming summer of domestic cricket features up to 180 days of play at 20 venues across the three premier domestic competitions – the HRV Twenty20, Ford Trophy and Plunket Shield.
Following the success of last year’s televised HRV Twenty20 Friday night matches, the first five weeks of the competition will feature both Friday and Saturday night games live on SKY Sport.
For the first time, temporary lights at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval and Dunedin’s University Oval will bring the excitement of HRV Cup night matches to the South Island. Hagley Oval will host the opening match on 1 November.
The traditional Christmas and New Year’s holiday period will feature the bulk of the competition, culminating with a finals weekend on 17 and 18 January in Hamilton. Seddon Park will host the preliminary final on the Friday night and the final on the Saturday night, with both games to be televised.
In a similar layout to last season, 10 full rounds of Plunket Shield will be split across the summer, with the first half of the premier four day First Class competition played before Christmas and the second half beginning late January. In a new initiative, some teams will play back-to-back matches against the same opposition but at different venues.
The same approach will also be used for the Ford Trophy. The eight round One Day competition will begin 2 March, with the top four teams making the preliminary finals before the televised final on 5 April. Ford Trophy matches will begin at 11am this year, as opposed to the 10.30am starts from last season.
NZC General Manager Domestic Cricket David Cooper says: there is a lot to consider when putting together a schedule, but he feels the programme provides plenty of opportunities for fans to enjoy domestic cricket this summer.
“Friday night HRV Cup games were a big hit last season and we’re thrilled to be able to add televised Saturday night games as well.
“Using temporary lights will mean that Volts and Wizards fans won’t miss out on Twenty20 night games this season and we expect those games to be really well received.
“We’ve also tweaked the Plunket Shield and Ford Trophy competitions to allow teams to play consecutive games against the same opposition. This is the norm in international cricket and we think it will provide our players with better preparation for future BLACKCAPS series.”
Every match will be live-scored on www.blackcaps.co.nz and the Major Association websites.