WORCESTERSHIRE will take on the exciting talent of New Zealand in a four-day match at New Road next summer ahead of their Test, ODI and Twenty20 series against England.
The County will do battle at their headquarters with the Black Caps in the second match of their tour from May 14 to 17.
It is another feather in the cap of Worcestershire, who last summer staged a four-day clash with Australia in their final game before the Ashes and earned a creditable draw after batting all of the final day.
Worcestershire faced New Zealand in a Twenty20 game in Abu Dhabi during their pre-season tour in March.
The contest was used by New Zealand as part of their preparations for the ICC World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.
Next summer’s match could potentially also see a New Road return for hard-hitting batsman Colin Munro and paceman Mitchell McClenaghan, who are both scheduled to play for Worcestershire as overseas players in 2014.
Worcestershire chief executive David Leatherdale said: “Traditionally when only one touring side came each summer and stayed in England four or five months, Worcester always used to stage the first game.
“But with two touring teams each year playing a combined seven Tests and teams travelling all over the world, it is now more unusual that they play a couple of practice matches.
“For us to get what is the equivalent of our Test match, the last warm-up game before the first Test, is a feather in our cap and, with Colin and Mitch playing for us in 2014, if they come back next summer it will be a nice link.
“Any tourist game is beneficial but New Zealand are a good draw, with some talented and exciting players, and to get them for a four-day game is good.”
Munro arrived at New Road is scheduled to arrive in England today (Monday) to be part of the County’s squad for all 14 group matches in the NatWest T20 Blast, while McClenaghan is due during the latter part of the summer as a replacement for Saeed Ajmal.