The New Zealand Cricket team begins a busy summer season with a Two-Test series against West Indies starting on December 1, 2017 at the Basin Reserve in Wellington.
Black Caps are coming off a good tour of India, where they fell agonizingly short of winning their first One day and T-20 series in the country.
Troubled West Indies
Once a powerhouse of the Gentleman’s Game – the West Indies Cricket team has been on a slide for a long time. Basketball has overtaken cricket as the country’s major sport. American sport dominates airwaves in West Indies.
The struggling side does not produce sporting heroes for youngsters to emulate.
The team has also been severely impacted by the dispute between the players and the Cricket Board. It is disappointing to see several Caribbean players plying their trade in Cricketing leagues around the globe, but not representing their country.
Things though have looked up since the appointment of Australian Stuart Law as the coach earlier this year. The side beat England at home in a Test match in July.
Pakistan follows West Indies for a five match one-day series.
The Champion Trophy winners have had a successful run this year under the captaincy of Wicketkeeper Sarfaraz Ahmed. South African Mickey Arthur as the Coach has instilled discipline and improved fitness levels of the side by leaps and bounds.
While T-20 leagues have been a success the world over, the concept has failed to pick up in New Zealand.
This year’s domestic T-20 event ‘Super Smash’ begins in mid-December and organisers hope that the holiday season will bring in the crowds.
First T20 Series
Australia and England join the Black Caps, in what is sure to be an exciting contest.
Rounding off the summer will be a test series with England.
England will be coming from what promises to be a hard-fought Ashes in Australia.
The first test at Eden Park will be a day-night affair. This will make New Zealand the fifth country in the world to host Test cricket under artificial lights.
It is essential for survival of Test Cricket in the country that this match is a ratings success. This has the potential to attract a new legion of fans to the game.
Chance for Munro
This season is an excellent opportunity for Auckland’s Colin Munro to make the opening slot his own in One-Day Cricket.
With sides increasingly looking at wrist spinners to contain runs and take wickets in the middle overs of an ODI- Northern Districts, Ish Sodhi will surely be in the selectors’ plans. Auckland’s Jeet Raval has had an excellent start to his Test career and already averages more than 38 runs.
Four Tests this summer will give him an excellent platform to enhance his reputation as a solid and technically correct batsman.
A successful Cricket team helps the sport grow in the country.
It makes available more funds for grassroots cricket, and attracts youngsters to take up Cricket. This summer, Black Caps have ample opportunities to come good on their own, and their fans high expectations of them.
- Colin Munro: Photo Courtesy: Randy Brooks/Sports File
- Isha Sodhi: Photo Courtesy: Photosport.nz
- Jeet Raval: Photo Courtesy: Sportal