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NZ to start India tour with Kotla warm-up tie

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Image Credit: starsports.com/Reuters

New Zealand, who will tour India for three Test matches will play three day practice match against Board President’s XI at Delhi’s Feroz Shah Kotla. The match will run from September 16-18.

Interestingly, the BCCI had sounded out Kotla whether it wanted to host the Duleep trophy day/night ‘pink ball’ game from August 23.

“Yes, Kotla was offered the Duleep Trophy Pink ball game but the DDCA feels that due to ongoing monsoons, it will be difficult to get the ground ready on time for the match. That’s why UPCA’s new ground at Greater Noida, which has floodlights will host the Duleep Trophy Day/Night game on August 23,” a senior BCCI source told PTI on Thursday.

The Greater Noida ground was used by Afghanistan team for their preparation before ICC WorldT20. Kanpur will host the match from September 22-26. Delhi and District Cricket Association (DDCA) is closer to Green Park, Kanpur. It also saves time and less travelling is involved.

“It is logistically viable that New Zealand team remains in Delhi for the better part and therefore play the warm-up game at the Feroz Shah Kotla. It will be a newly laid strip and the monsoon season by that time would have come to an end,” the source concluded.

NZ is currently playing Zimbabwe in Bulawayo and India just drew the second Test against West Indies at Jamaica.

Kiwis last toured India in 2012 and lost the series 2-0. They would hope that by arriving early they can acclimatise and give a better account of themselves.