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India to play 3 tests in NZ

India will play an expanded three-test series in New Zealand in March and April in a bid to fill some of the void following its canceled tour to Pakistan.

A test at Napier from March 26-30, added between the scheduled first test at Wellington (March 18-22) and last test at Hamilton (April 3-7), has been included after approaches by the Board of Control for Cricket in India, New Zealand Cricket said Thursday.

A second Twenty20 international, on Feb. 25, has also been added to the expanded tour itinerary which still includes five limited-overs internationals.

New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said his organization welcomed the opportunity to enlarge the Indian tour. “India is probably the most exciting side in the world at present, packed full of superstar players and the chance to see six more days of high quality international competition will be welcomed by all New Zealand cricket fans,” Vaughan said.

“The tour will give our team a great chance to prove themselves against the world’s best.” Vaughan said it was unavoidable that some changes have had to be made to previously scheduled match dates and venues.

“We have worked hard to keep as much of the schedule as possible intact. The result is a tour where more fans will be able to see more games in more places,” he said.

BCCI spokesman N.Srinivasan said he was delighted the two nations had been able to agree on an extended tour.

“My thanks go to New Zealand Cricket for responding positively to our request for an extended test series,” he said.

“There have been a number of issues for both boards to resolve to accommodate the new schedule and I am pleased we have been able to work together to achieve a high quality program.

“To have such a strong mix of tests, one-day internationals and Twenty20s will be good for both teams, and for cricket followers in India and New Zealand.”

WELLINGTON, AP

 

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