New Zealand Cricket has announced a full 2022-23 domestic schedule after the last season was hit by widespread Covid-19 disruptions. The season will start with the Plunket Shield in October – followed by the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and Ford Trophy competitions – and will last for a total of six months till the end of March 2023.
An NZC release said, “the formats and playing conditions for all competitions will largely revert to those employed before last season, although the provision to allow full substitutes for players who test positive to Covid-19 will remain.”
Auckland will begin their Plunket Shield title defence against Otago at home starting October 18, in the first of eight rounds which will finish on March 24, 2023.
The Hallyburton Johnstone Shield, won by Otago Sparks last season, will start on November 19 with the final scheduled for March 4, while the Ford Trophy, also lifted by Auckland last season, will commence on November 22 and include an elimination final on February 17, ahead of a grand final two days later.
Both the Hallyburton Johnstone Shield and Ford Trophy finals will be played at the John Davies Oval in Queenstown. The Super Smash draw for men and women, starting December 23, will be announced at the end of this month.
NZC’s GM cricket operations Catherine Campbell said the board and the six major associations had decided to retain the flexibility to react to any emergency situation – caused by Covid-19 or otherwise – and were hopeful of an uninterrupted summer.
“We’re all looking forward to a full season of domestic cricket being played across the country, from Whangarei in the north to Queenstown and Dunedin in the south,” she said.
“With the home international fixtures and the Dream11 Super Smash added, Kiwi cricket fans will have plenty to keep them interested, from the start of October to early April 2023.”
In between, New Zealand will also tour Pakistan and India in December-January.
The women’s team will host Bangladesh for ODIs and T20Is in December ahead of the T20 World Cup in South Africa early next year.