India might conclude its next year’s tour of New Zealand without playing a single Test.
India will visit New Zealand early next year which will be their first visit to the country since 2014. But despite the five-year gap between the last and the upcoming series, India might not play any Test.
According to a report in The Times of India, a BCCI official insisted the unfavourable time, as well as the World Cup, are two prime reasons behind India’s reluctance to play Test matches.
The games will start at 3 am in India which might cause the board a lot of revenue loss. At the same time, the team will be looking to play limited-overs cricket more to have ample practice ahead of the 2019 World Cup.
Virat Kohli & Co. will play a total of 12 Tests in the next financial year out of which only two are scheduled at home against West Indies.
India will play ten international matches each in Australia and New Zealand in the coming financial year. They will play four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is in Australia. On the other hand, they will play only limited-overs cricket in New Zealand. India is likely to play five ODIs against the Black Caps and as many T20Is.
“There is a lot of risk of losing money in a five-day game starting at 3 am India time (in New Zealand). Anyway, it will be a World Cup year by the time India travel to New Zealand. India will be playing just white-ball cricket after the Tests in Australia get over till the World Cup in England arrives,” the source was quoted as saying by the news outlet.
“India will host Australia after they come back from New Zealand and will travel to Zimbabwe for three T20Is before the 2019 IPL,” he added.
On their last tour of New Zealand in 2014, India had played just two Tests, and five ODIs. The BCCI had previously announced that it was keen on reducing the number of playing days without cutting down on the number of matches.
And playing only white-ball cricket in New Zealand might be the first step in that direction.