David White has shown interest towards day-night Tests emphasising on usage of pink ball    Getty Images
David White has shown interest towards day-night Tests emphasising on usage of pink ball Getty Images

New Zealand on Friday unveiled plans to host a day-night Test against England as part of a packed home international schedule for the next two seasons. New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said the fixture, to be played under lights with a pink ball, would take place at Auckland’s Eden Park in 2018 “pending agreement and approval”. “While we can t confirm it yet, it s something we re extremely interested in and working towards,” NZC chief executive David White said. NZC did not specify when the proposed pink-ball Test would take place but the ICC’s Future Tours Programme has England’s tour of New Zealand scheduled for February-April 2018. ALSO READ: New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive believes players need to accept pink ball Tests

Australia and New Zealand played the inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide last year, attracting huge crowds to rival those at limited-overs versions of the game. But players from both sides complained about the visibility and movement of the pink ball, while some conservatives claimed it undermined a Test tradition dating back to 1877. Former England captain Andrew Strauss joined England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves in backing the concept this month, saying it was a matter of time before such a match was played in the sport’s birthplace. White argued earlier this month that dwindling crowds meant the five-day game could not survive without day-nighters. ALSO READ: NZ extend head coach Mike Hesson’s contract until 2019

The format pushes playing times back into prime-time television viewing hours and allows spectators to attend after finishing work or school. Under the NZC schedule announced Friday, New Zealand in 2016-17 will host Pakistan (two Tests), Bangladesh (three one-dayers, three T20s, two Tests), Australia (three ODIs) and South Africa (one T20, five ODIs, three Tests). In 2017-18, they will host the West Indies (three Tests, five ODIs, one T20), Pakistan (three T20s, five ODIs), Australia (three ODIs) and England (one T20, five ODIs, two Tests).

NEW ZEALAND VS ENGLAND
DATES MATCHES VENUE
November 17-21 New Zealand vs England- 1st Test Christchurch
November 25-29 New Zealand vs England- 2nd Test Hamilton
NEW ZEALAND VS BANGLADESH
December 26 New Zealand vs Bangladesh- 1st ODI Christchurch
December 29 New Zealand vs Bangladesh- 2nd ODI Nelson
December 31 New Zealand vs Bangladesh- 3rd ODI Nelson
January 3 New Zealand vs Bangladesh- 1st T20 Napier
January 6 New Zealand vs Bangladesh- 2nd T20 Mt Maunganui
January 8 New Zealand vs Bangladesh- 3rd T20 Mt Maunganui
January 12-16 New Zealand vs Bangladesh- 1st Test Wellington
January 20-24 New Zealand vs Bangladesh- 2nd Test Christchurch
NEW ZEALAND VS AUSTRALIA
January 30 New Zealand vs Australia Auckland
February 2 New Zealand vs Australia Napier
February 5 New Zealand vs Australia Hamilton
NEW ZEALAND VS SOUTH AFRICA
February 17 New Zealand vs South Africa- Only T20 Auckland
February 19 New Zealand vs South Africa- 1st ODI Hamilton
February 22 New Zealand vs South Africa- 2nd ODI Christchurch
February 25 New Zealand vs South Africa- 3rd ODI Wellington
March 1 New Zealand vs South Africa- 4th ODI Napier
March 4 New Zealand vs South Africa Auckland
March 8-12 New Zealand vs South Africa Dunedin
March 16-20 New Zealand vs South Africa Wellington
March 25-29 New Zealand vs South Africa Hamilton

“The last couple of years has seen a significant rise in interest in cricket and I think the schedule we ve locked in will help that interest continue to grow,” White said.