With no active cases, New Zealand declared itself coronavirus-free on Tuesday and the country, which sees very few cricket matches a year in comparison to some other nations, could emerge as a neutral venue for Test matches according to Heath Mills, the chief executive of the players’ association.
“I could see New Zealand operating as a neutral venue,” Mills said. “That’s a definite possibility.”
“I know New Zealand Cricket have been in contact with the ECB and others about the potential for that to happen this summer,” Mills was quoted as saying by ‘I Newspaper’
New Zealand lifted most restrictions over the weekend after no active cases were reported.
Neutral venues in international cricket are not new with Pakistan hosting most of its home series in the UAE since teams stopped touring there in the wake of the attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009.
Mills expects New Zealand Cricket (NZC) to seriously consider the prospect of hosting neutral Tests. In April, the ECB chief executive Tom Harrison had confirmed offers from New Zealand and Australia, also one of the least affected countries due to COVID-19, to host county cricket.
International cricket is set to resume next month with England hosting a three-Test series against the West Indies in bio-secure environment. However, there are questions over the feasibility of playing under an bio-secure environment on a regular basis.