The upcoming Indian women's cricket team's tour of New Zealand in February will see all their matches played at one venue in Queenstown, confirmed New Zealand Cricket (NZC) on Thursday.
The women's team will play one T20I and five ODIs, starting from February 9 while the last ODI will be played on February 24. The venue of all the matches will be at John Davies Oval in Queenstown.
The release of the schedule was NZC's effort to streamline its home international schedules for the men's and women's teams in order to mitigate the risk of an Omicron outbreak compromising upcoming fixtures.
The immediate changes will see the South Africa men's side remaining in Christchurch for the entire duration of its visit, playing both its scheduled Tests at Hagley Oval rather than decamping to Wellington for the second match, as initially scheduled.
Other alterations will see Australia's three T20s against the BLACKCAPS hosted in Napier (subject to MIQ availability), and the Netherlands men's tour split between Mount Maunganui (one T20 and one ODI) and Hamilton (two ODIs).
NZC chief executive David White said the venue changes were just one part of a contingency plan designed to safeguard the health of all participants and to reduce the chance of matches or series being jeopardized by an outbreak.
"These risk mitigations are based on avoiding known COVID-19 hotspots and include limiting air travel, limiting accommodation transfers, and, essentially, operating in safer environments. We know the more domestic flights we have, and the more movement there is between hotels, the greater the chance of a match or even a series being put at risk," said White in an official release.
While crowds were likely to be severely reduced because of protocols under the "red" setting of the COVID-19 Protection Framework system, White said he knew those venues and centres that had lost fixtures would be sorely disappointed.
"It's a real blow for those in our cricket family who have missed out on hosting events through no fault of their own. However, the current environment demands we take every possible measure to, 1) ensure people are safe and well, and 2) deliver a summer of international cricket with the least possible disruption," said White.
WHITE FERNS v India - one T20I & five ODIs: All matches to be played at John Davies Oval, Queenstown.
(Reported by ANI)