T20 World Cup finalists to meet again in three-match T20I series in March

Mitchell Starc and Josh Inglis saw Australia home narrowly ICC/Getty Images

T20 World Cup finalists Australia and New Zealand have added a three-match T20I series in New Zealand next March in the lead-up to the 2022 World Cup which will run concurrently with Australia's tour to Pakistan.

Cricket Australia and New Zealand Cricket confirmed on Friday that the two teams will meet in three T20Is in New Zealand on March 17, 18 and 20 in Wellington and Napier. Australia will need to send a separate T20I squad to New Zealand as they did earlier in 2021 when the two teams played a five-match series while Australia's Test team was scheduled to play in South Africa, although the Test tour was subsequently cancelled due to CA's covid concerns.

Justin Langer missed the New Zealand tour with senior assistant Andrew McDonald taking charge of the team. David Warner, Steven Smith, Pat Cummins, Mitchell Starc and Josh Hazlewood also missed the five-match series in New Zealand. All would likely miss next year's series as well given they will be required in Pakistan with the three Tests being played between March 3 and March 25. A three-match ODI series and one-off T20I will follow in Pakistan starting on March 29.

CA confirmed that once again another T20I squad would be selected without the first-choice Test players, with the Pakistan Tests taking priority. CA chief executive Nick Hockley said the series was important for both nations despite it being shoehorned into the calendar alongside the Pakistan tour.

"New Zealand's home summer schedule has been heavily impacted by the pandemic, and we are pleased to be able to support our closest neighbour with this T20I tour," Hockley said. "As well as supporting New Zealand Cricket to host a full summer of international cricket, it will also be a great opportunity for our men's T20 team to ramp up their preparations ahead of our home ICC Men's T20 World Cup in October and November next year."

NZC chief executive David White was grateful for CA's support with New Zealand's closed border causing issues in terms of getting teams to travel there.

"The impact of Covid-19 has meant a number of changes to our schedule - and we want to place on record our thanks to Cricket Australia for agreeing to send a team across the Tasman at such short notice," White said. "NZC and CA have always enjoyed a close relationship and we really appreciate the lengths they've gone to in order to help us."

New Zealand's 2021-22 schedule
New Zealand will kick off their 2021-22 home season with the New Year's Test against Bangladesh in Tauranga. Christchurch will host the second and final Test of the series.

After that, New Zealand will travel to Australia for three ODIs and a T20I although travel restrictions could still cause complications for that tour with the opening match set for Perth on January 30. Western Australia's border could still be closed at the point depending on vaccination rates.

In February, South Africa will visit New Zealand for a two-match Test series. The games will be played in Christchurch and Wellington.

That will be followed by Australia's above-mentioned visit for three T20Is. New Zealand will end their home summer with a T20I and three ODIs against Netherlands. This will be the first time New Zealand and Netherlands will be involved in a bilateral series in any format.

All four Tests will be part of New Zealand's World Test Championship title defence, and all the ODIs through the summer will count towards World Cup Super League for automatic qualification for the 2023 edition.