Christchurch’s Hagley Oval is poised to host New Zealand’s first Boxing Day Test in more than a decade, and the first ever in the South Island, in the ANZ International Series 2014-15.

Starved of international cricket since the 2011 earthquake, Christchurch makes a return to New Zealand Cricket’s international programme this summer, with Hagley Oval being awarded both the Boxing Day Test against Sri Lanka and the opening One Day International against the same opponents.

Hagley Oval will later host the opening match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015, also against Sri Lanka.

Another highlight of the ANZ International Series 2014-15 is confirmation of Tauranga’s Bay Oval as the country’s newest international arena.

NZC Head of Cricket Lindsay Crocker said he was delighted to announce the return of international cricket to Canterbury, and to confirm Hagley Oval as the country’s eighth Test venue.

“Bringing international cricket back to Christchurch was always a priority for NZC,” said Crocker. “And we feel the Boxing Day Test was a good way to celebrate what will be a very special landmark.”

NZC opted to schedule the Test matches in the holiday period this summer, in order to allow the BLACKCAPS an uninterrupted run of ODIs ahead of CWC 2015.

“While our inclination is to play short-form cricket in the holiday period, on this occasion our preference is to play the Tests early so that we can maximise ODI opportunities ahead of the CWC.”

The BLACKCAPS will test themselves against three strong ODI sides at home this summer, as first South Africa, and then Sri Lanka and Pakistan visit.

Between the South African and Sri Lankan series they will travel to the United Arab Emirates to play Pakistan in three Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20..

“The original agreement with Sri Lanka provided for a five-match ODI series and two T20s - but by mutual agreement, again with the CWC in mind, we chose to play seven ODIs,” said Crocker.

“Three very competitive opponents, the chance to play at all our World Cup venues, and to take the team around the country – we think this offers a good lead-in to the CWC, while still maintaining our commitment to Test cricket.”

Features of a busy ANZ International Series include:

• Three ODIs v South Africa in October, two of which will be at Bay Oval, Tauranga, New Zealand's newest international venue

• Tests in Christchurch and Wellington v Sri Lanka and seven ODIs around the country, including a Friday - Sunday double header in Dunedin

• ODIs in Wellington and Napier v Pakistan in late January and early February

The ANZ International Series kicks off on 21 October 2014 at Bay Oval against South Africa. Ticketing information for all matches will be available on in the coming months.

ANZ International Series 2014-15

South Africa

1st ANZ ODI Tuesday 21 October, Bay Oval, Tauranga - Day

2nd ANZ ODI Friday 24 October, Bay Oval, Tauranga - Day

3rd ANZ ODI Monday 27 October, Seddon Park, Hamilton - D/N

Sri Lanka

1st ANZ Test 26 – 30 December, Hagley Oval, Christchurch - 1100

2nd ANZ Test 3 – 7 January, Hawkins Basin Reserve, Wellington - 1100

1st ANZ ODI Sunday 11 January, Hagley Oval, Christchurch - Day

2nd ANZ ODI Thursday 15 January, Seddon Park, Hamilton - D/N

3rd ANZ ODI Saturday 17 January, Eden Park, Auckland - D/N

4th ANZ ODI Tuesday 20 January, Saxton Oval, Nelson - Day

5th ANZ ODI Friday 23 January, University Oval, Dunedin - Day

6th ANZ ODI Sunday 25 January, University Oval, Dunedin - Day

7th ANZ ODI Wednesday 29 January, Westpac Stadium, Wellington - D/N


1st ANZ ODI Saturday 31 January, Westpac Stadium, Wellington - D/N

2nd ANZ ODI Tuesday 3 February, McLean Park, Napier - D/N