New Zealand to begin Test Championship with tour of Sri Lanka

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(Reuters) – Sri Lanka will host New Zealand between August and September for two test matches and three Twenty20 internationals, the Sri Lankan Cricket board (SLC) said on Friday.

The tests are part of the inaugural World Test Championship which involves the nine top-ranked test nations competing in a league between July 2019 and April 2021, with the top two teams progressing to the final to be held in England in June 2021.

“The New Zealand national team will arrive in Sri Lanka on the August 3, 2019 to take part in a cricket series,” the SLC said in a statement.

“During the tour, New Zealand will play two test matches and three T20 games.”

New Zealand will be the first team to tour Sri Lanka since the Easter Sunday suicide bombings that killed 253 people in the island nation.

The bombings led to Sri Lanka postponing a tour of Pakistan’s Under-19 team, who were scheduled to play two four-day matches and three one-dayers in Galle and Hambantota.

The last time Sri Lanka hosted New Zealand was in 2012, with the two-test series ending 1-1.

The teams are currently at the 50-over World Cup in England and Wales, with the Kiwis poised to secure the fourth semi-final spot while Sri Lanka are out of the running and have one more group game against India on Saturday.

(Reporting by Rohith Nair in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)

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