Monday, May 12th, 2014

County To Face New Zealand Next Summer In Four-Day Clash

Worcestershire will take on the exciting talent of New Zealand in a four-day match at New Road next summer ahead of their Test, ODI and Twenty20 series against England.

The county will do battle at their headquarters with the Black Caps in the second match of their tour from May 14 to 17.

It is another feather in the cap of Worcestershire who last summer staged a four-day clash with Australia in their final game before the Ashes and earned a creditable draw after batting all of the final day.

Worcestershire faced New Zealand in a Twenty20 game in Abu Dhabi during their pre-season tour in March.

The contest was used by New Zealand as part of their preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

Next summer's match could potentially also see a New Road return for hard-hitting batsman Colin Munro and paceman Mitchell McClenaghan who are both scheduled to play for Worcestershire as overseas players in 2014.

Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said: "Traditionally when only one touring side came each summer and stayed in England four or five months, Worcester always used to stage the first game.

"But with two touring teams each year playing a combined seven Tests, and teams travelling all over the world, it is now more unusual that they play a couple of practice matches.

"For us to get what is the equivalent of our Test match, the last warm-up game before the first Test, is a feather in our cap and, with Colin and Mitch playing for us in 2014, if they come back next summer it will be a nice link.

"Any tourist game is beneficial but New Zealand are a good draw, with some talented and exciting players, and to get them for a four-day game is good."

Munro is scheduled to arrive in England today (Monday) to be part of the county's squad for all 14 group matches in the NatWest T20 Blast while McClenaghan is due during the latter part of the summer as a replacement for Saeed Ajmal.

New Zealand will participate in four-day tour matches against Somerset and then Worcestershire before meeting England in the opening international action of the summer – the 1st Investec Test at Lords.

Headingley will stage the second Test of the two-match series against the Black Caps.

The focus then shifts to the Royal London One-Day International series with Edgbaston, The Kia Oval, The Ageas Bowl, Trent Bridge and Emirates Durham ICG all staging ODIs and Emirates Old Trafford hosting a NatWest IT20.

Then during the second half of the summer England will attempt to reclaim the Ashes.

Cardiff’s SWALEC stadium will host the opening Investec Ashes Test of the five-match series as it did in 2009 when England’s last pair James Anderson and Monty Panesar clung on for a famous draw on the final day of a gripping encounter.

Lord’s, Edgbaston, Trent Bridge and The Kia Oval will also stage Tests as England bid to regain the famous Ashes urn and win a fourth successive home Ashes series following their previous triumphs in 2005, 2009 and 2013.

After the Ashes, England and Australia will do battle again in a NatWest IT20 at Cardiff before the international season reaches its climax in September with The Ageas Bowl, Lord’s, Emirates Old Trafford and Headingley hosting matches in the Royal London One-Day International series.

ECB chief executive David Collier said: "Next summer promises to be a hugely exciting international season with England’s bid to regain the Ashes set to be one of the major highlights of the sporting year.

"We’re also delighted to be hosting New Zealand again across all three formats of the international game and would like to thank all those county and international venues who will be hosting our touring teams next year."

New Zealand to UK 2015

Fri 8 – Mon 11 May 4-day v Somerset Taunton
Thu 14 – Sun 17 May 4-day v Worcestershire New Road
Thu 21 – Mon 25 May 1st Investec Test Match Lord’s
Fri 29 May – Tue 2 June 2nd Investec Test Match Headingley
Sat 6 June 50-over v Leicestershire Grace Road
Tue 9 June 1st Royal London ODI (D/N) Edgbaston
Fri 12 June 2nd Royal London ODI (D/N) Kia Oval
Sun 14 June 3rd Royal London ODI Ageas Bowl (Southampton)
Wed 17 June 4th Royal London ODI (D/N) Trent Bridge
Sat 20 June 5th Royal London ODI Emirates Durham ICG
Tue 23 June NatWest IT20 (Floodlit) Emirates Old Trafford

Australia to UK 2015

Thu 25 – Sun 28 June 4-day v Kent Canterbury
Wed 1 – Sat 4 July 4-day v Essex Chelmsford
Wed 8 – Sun 12 July 1st Investec Test Match SWALEC, Cardiff
Thu 16 – Mon 20 July 2nd Investec Test Match Lord’s
Thu 23 – Sat 25 July 3-day v Derbyshire 3aaa County Ground, Derby
Wed 29 July – Sun 2 Aug 3rd Investec Test Match Edgbaston
Thu 6 – Mon 10 Aug 4th Investec Test Match Trent Bridge
Fri 14 – Sun 16 Aug 3-day v Northants Northampton
Thu 20 – Mon 24 Aug 5th Investec Test Match Kia Oval
Thu 27 Aug ODI v Ireland Venue tbc
Mon 31 Aug NatWest IT20 SWALEC, Cardiff
Thu 3 Sept 1st Royal London ODI (D/N) Ageas Bowl
Sat 5 Sept 2nd Royal London ODI Lord’s
Tue 8 Sept 3rd Royal London ODI (D/N) Emirates Old Trafford
Fri 11 Sept 4th Royal London ODI Headingley
Sun 13 Sept 5th Royal London ODI Emirates Old Trafford