New Zealand Cricket has adjusted the upcoming home international venue schedules for the Blackcaps and the White Ferns to mitigate the risk of an Omicron outbreak.
The most immediate change will see the South Africa men's side playing both its scheduled tests at Christchurch's Hagley Oval, rather than heading north to Wellington's Basin Reserve for the second match as originally planned.
Other changes see the White Ferns' short-form series against India played solely at John Davies Oval in Queenstown (one Twenty20 international and five one-day internationals) , Australia’s three Twenty20s against the Blackcaps hosted in Napier (subject to MIQ availability), and the Netherlands men’s tour split between Mount Maunganui (one T20 and one ODI) and Hamilton (two ODIs).
"These risk mitigations are based on avoiding known COVID-19 hotspots, and include limiting air travel, limiting accommodation transfers and, essentially, operating in safer environments,” says NZC chief executive David White.
"We know the more domestic flights we have, and the more movement there is between hotels, the greater the chance of a match or even a series being put at risk."
White says he sympathises with those venues and centres that had lost fixtures but the changes were critical to reducing the risk of matches being cancelled.
"It's a real blow for those in our cricket family who have missed out on hosting events through no fault of their own," he adds.
"However, the current environment demands we take every possible measure to ensure people are safe and well, and deliver a summer of international cricket with the least possible disruption."
While crowds are likely to be heavily reduced due to the current 'red' setting of the COVID-19 alert system, NZC is exploring the potential of venues accommodating multiple 'pods' of no more than 100 spectators, as per Government guidelines.
Tickets for games no longer being played at the originally advertised venues will receive full refunds.
Blackcaps v South Africa – two tests:
Both test matches to be played at Hagley Oval, Christchurch.
White Ferns v India – one T20 and five ODIs:
All matches to be played at John Davies Oval, Queenstown.
Blackcaps v Australia – three T20Is:
All matches to be played at McLean Park, Napier.
Blackcaps v Netherlands – one T20 and three ODIs
The first two matches (one T20I & one ODI) to be played at Bay Oval, Tauranga.
The last two matches (two ODIs) to be played at Seddon Park, Hamilton.