Hagley Oval to host Black Caps Boxing Day test
Christchurch's Hagley Oval will host its first cricket test on Boxing Day to open Sri Lanka's tour of New Zealand.
New Zealand Cricket confirmed the summer schedule today, with the Boxing Day test back for the first time since 2003.
Wellington's Basin Reserve was originally pencilled in to host it, but NZC made a late switch with Wellington to host the second and final test from January 3-7.
Hagley will become the country's eighth test venue and will also host the first of seven ODIs on January 11 as it prepares to stage the World Cup opener, also against Sri Lanka, on February 14.
"Bringing international cricket back to Christchurch was always a priority for NZC," said NZC's head of cricket, Lindsay Crocker. "And we feel the Boxing Day test was a good way to celebrate what will be a very special landmark."
NZC opted to schedule the test matches in the holiday period this summer, in order to allow the Black Caps an uninterrupted run of ODIs ahead of the World Cup 2015.
"While our inclination is to play short-form cricket in the holiday period, on this occasion our preference is to play the tests early so that we can maximise ODI opportunities ahead of the CWC."
Dunedin's University Oval, one of seven New Zealand World Cup venues, will host an ODI double-header on January 23 and 25.
Another feature of the schedule is Mt Maunganui hosting its first full ODI, against South Africa in October. Bay Oval will host ODIs on October 21 and 24, with Hamilton to stage the third match on October 27, Labour Day.
Pakistan will also play two ODIs as a final World Cup warmup, in Wellington on January 31 and Napier on February 3.
NZC's home schedule
1st ODI Tuesday 21 October, Bay Oval, Tauranga - Day. 2nd ODI Friday 24 October, Bay Oval, Tauranga - Day. 3rd ODI Monday 27 October, Seddon Park, Hamilton - D/N/
1st test 26 - 30 December, Hagley Oval, Christchurch - 1100. 2nd test 3 - 7 January, Basin Reserve, Wellington - 1100.
1st ODI Sunday 11 January, Hagley Oval, Christchurch - Day. 2nd ODI Thursday 15 January, Seddon Park, Hamilton - D/N. 3rd ODI Saturday 17 January, Eden Park, Auckland - D/N. 4th ODI Tuesday 20 January, Saxton Oval, Nelson - Day. 5th ODI Friday 23 January, University Oval, Dunedin - Day. 6th ODI Sunday 25 January, University Oval, Dunedin - Day. 7th ODI Wednesday 29 January, Westpac Stadium, Wellington - D/N.
1st ODI Saturday 31 January, Westpac Stadium, Wellington - D/N. 2nd ODI Tuesday 3 February, McLean Park, Napier - D/N.