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New Zealand government gives clearance for Pakistan, West Indies tours
New Zealand News

New Zealand government gives clearance for Pakistan, West Indies tours

New Zealand Cricket (NZC) has received a positive response from the country's government to go ahead with the full international home season this year.

New Zealand are set to host Pakistan and West Indies this summer for multiple Test and T20I fixtures amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Quarantine arrangements are currently under consideration as NZC hope to replicate the standard of "bio-secure bubbles" maintained by England during their international summer.

"It's a huge boost for us, it's our financial lifeline," NZC chief executive David White told reporters as the board recovers from the economic hit of the Covid-19 crisis.

"International cricket funds the whole game of cricket in New Zealand, so it's very, very important for us."

The details of the series schedule will be revealed in due course with White claiming that touring parties would have to follow health and testing protocols laid down by the government.

He said the teams will land in Auckland and then board a charter to Christchurch where they would undergo mandatory self-isolation and train at NZC's high-performance centre in Lincoln University.

"It's not going to come cheap, we will be footing the bill but we are happy to do that and fully understand it's a user-pays model," he stated.

"We'll be guided by the government, whatever they demand, we'll follow."

It has not been decided yet whether the games will be played behind closed doors or involve fans at the stadiums. New Zealand's domestic Super Rugby Aotearoa featured sold-out venues throughout the competition, however, the final round was played without spectators owing to the reemergence of coronavirus.

"Like many New Zealanders, I am looking forward to seeing international sport resuming," New Zealand sports minister Grant Robertson said in a statement.

"It is a huge part of our culture and helps bring us together as a nation."