After the conclusion of the ICC World Cup 2019 extravaganza with the grand finale on July 14, the World Championship in Tests will start and continue till June 2021 when the final will be held in England again. The first series to be played under the championship will be between New Zealand and Sri Lanka and will be played between August 14 and 26.
It will feature two matches with the Asian island-nation serving as hosts. The first Test is set to take place in Galle between August 14 and 18 while the second will be played at P Sara Oval in Colombo between August 22 and 26. The Tests will be followed by three T20Is that will be played at R Premadasa International Cricket Stadium, also in Colombo, between August 31 and September 6.
New Zealand have a upper hand over Sri Lanka in Test matches
Sri Lanka and New Zealand have been playing Tests since 1983, two years after the former got admitted in the longer format and till date, they have played 34 matches with NZ winning 15, Lanka winning eight while 11 have been drawn. They have taken part in 16 series so far with New Zealand winning seven, Sri Lanka won four and the other four ended in draws.
New Zealand although have won the last three Test series against their Asian opponents but all the three have come on their home soil, with the latest happening in December last year. New Zealand’s only Test series win on Sri Lankan soil had come way back in 1984 when they had won a three-match series 2-0. Sri Lanka’s last win against New Zealand, on the other hand, came only in 2009 when they routed their opponents 2-0 in a two-game series. In Tests, New Zealand are currently ranked second with 111 ratings while Sri Lanka is at sixth position with 94 ratings.
Before the Test series, the Kiwis will play a three-day game in Katunayake between August 8 and 10. On August 29, they will play in a T20 side game ahead of the series in the shorter format. This will be the first international series in Sri Lanka since the devastating bombings on Easter in April killing several hundreds.