Cricket: No risk of tournament fatigue as Blackcaps prepare for another T20 World Cup

Six months out from yet another global event, there's no sense of World Cup fatigue as far as the Blackcaps are concerned.  

Since the start of 2021, world cricket has had three world tournaments in three successive years.  

Aside from last year's 50 over World Cup in India, there were T20 World Cups in both 2021 (UAE) and 2022 (Australia), barely a year apart.  

In those tournaments, the Blackcaps finished runners up in 2021, and were beaten semi-finalists in 2022 and 2023. 

Tim Southee celebrates a wicket.
Tim Southee celebrates a wicket. Photo credit: Photosport

Not to mention, the Blackcaps also won the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021, taking New Zealand's tally to four global events across three formats since the start of that year.   

In June, a third Twenty20 World Cup in four years will be held, shared between the USA and West Indies, as the international game combats the rise of franchise leagues around the world.  

And despite the threat of overkill, there will be a world event every year from 2024 until 2031 across the three men's formats.  

But for the Blackcaps, who haven't won a white ball title since the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy, the chance to wear the silver fern on the world stage is never taken for granted.  

"Any chance you get to represent New Zealand, our country, is a real privilege and real honour," said Tim Southee.   

"Any world event you get to go to is a special time to be part of a side. I've been to a number over the years, they're all very special.  

"The ones you cherish are world events where you get to test yourself as a side on the world stage, which we've done pretty well in the last number of world events."

Kane Williamson at the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup.
Kane Williamson at the 2021 Twenty20 World Cup. Photo credit: Getty Images

The preparation for the Blackcaps' campaign will ramp up on Friday, in the first of five Twenty20 Internationals against Pakistan at Auckland's Eden Park.   

After a weakened side took the field against Bangladesh earlier this summer, the Blackcaps will be at close to full strength.  

Captain Kane Williamson has returned for his first taste of the shortest format at international level since late 2022, after most of last year was wiped out by a knee injury.  

On paper, only Jimmy Neesham, who'll instead play in South Africa's domestic league, and a rested Rachin Ravindra are missing from those who'll look to push for a spot in the 15-man squad for the next T20 World Cup.  

And for Williamson, Pakistan presents the perfect challenge as a means of the Blackcaps getting up to speed to chase a first T20 World Cup title later in the year.   

"Naturally, when you're building up to major events, the weight of cricket becomes that format, which is T20," said Williamson.  

"Playing Pakistan is always a fantastic opportunity. They're consistently one of the best teams in the world in all conditions.

"To have them here in our backyard in another contest is great. We had it before the last T20 World Cup – which wasn't all that long ago as well.  

"We're looking forward to the start of this series as a team."  

The Blackcaps will also play three more T20s against Australia, who tour New Zealand at the end of February. 

Upcoming men's world cricket events:

2024: T20 World Cup (USA and West Indies)  

2025: Champions Trophy (Pakistan), World Test Championship Final (England)  

2026: T20 World Cup (India and Sri Lanka)  

2027: Cricket World Cup (South Africa, Zimbabwe, Namibia)  

2028: T20 World Cup (Australia and New Zealand)  

2029: Champions Trophy (India)  

2030: T20 World Cup (England, Ireland, Scotland)  

2031: Cricket World Cup (India, Bangladesh)