Wellington - New Zealand on Friday unveiled
plans to host a day-night Test against England as part of a packed home
international schedule for the next two seasons.
New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said the fixture,
to be played under lights with a pink ball, would take place at Auckland's Eden
Park in 2018 "pending agreement and approval".
"While we can't confirm it yet, it's
something we're extremely interested in and working towards," NZC chief
executive David White said.
NZC did not specify when the proposed
pink-ball Test would take place but the ICC's Future Tours Programme has
England's tour of New Zealand scheduled for February-April 2018.
Australia and New Zealand played the
inaugural day-night Test in Adelaide last year, attracting huge crowds to rival
those at limited-overs versions of the game.
But players from both sides complained
about the visibility and movement of the pink ball, while some conservatives
claimed it undermined a Test tradition dating back to 1877.
Former England captain Andrew Strauss
joined England and Wales Cricket Board chairman Colin Graves in backing the
concept this month, saying it was a matter of time before such a match was
played in the sport's birthplace.
White argued earlier this month that
dwindling crowds meant the five-day game could not survive without
The format pushes playing times back into
prime-time television viewing hours and allows spectators to attend after
finishing work or school.
Under the NZC schedule announced Friday,
New Zealand in 2016-17 will host Pakistan (two Tests), Bangladesh (three
one-dayers, three T20s, two Tests), Australia (three ODIs) and South Africa
(one T20, five ODIs, three Tests).
In 2017-18, they will host the West Indies
(three Tests, five ODIs, one T20), Pakistan (three T20s, five ODIs), Australia
(three ODIs) and England (one T20, five ODIs, two Tests).
"The last couple of years has seen a
significant rise in interest in cricket and I think the schedule we've locked
in will help that interest continue to grow," White said.