New Zealand to host Zimbabwe, South Africa in 2012

WELLINGTON, (Reuters) – New Zealand will play their  first home test against Zimbabwe in 11 years, as well as a  three-match series against South Africa, in the next southern  hemisphere summer, New Zealand Cricket announced yesterday.

The Blackcaps start their test season with two matches in   neighbouring Australia in December before returning home to take  on the Zimbabweans in a test at Napier in late January 2012. Newly-appointed captain Ross Taylor will then lead the team  in tests against the Proteas, ranked second in the world, in  Dunedin, Hamilton and Wellington in March.

Christchurch, which was heavily damaged by a deadly  earthquake in February, is unable to host any matches.

Zimbabwe’s tour will be their first since 2001 and was  cleared to take place after the New Zealand government earlier  this month waived a ban on sporting tours imposed in protest at  the African country’s president Robert Mugabe.

Zimbabwe will also play three one-dayers and two Twenty/20  internationals against New Zealand, while the South Africans  will kick off their tour with three Twenty/20s and a trio of  one-dayers.

New Zealand, who are ranked eighth in the ICC’s test  rankings and seventh in one-dayers, will be without all rounder  Scott Styris, who quit international cricket yesterday.

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