England get a mouth-watering summer of cricket underway in May as they welcome New Zealand for two tests, three ODIs and two T20 internationals.
While the contest has unfairly been touted by some as a mere warm-up for the upcoming back-to-back Ashes series with Australia, a harder-than-expected tour to the Black Caps’ homeland in March has added spice to New Zealand’s visit.
Every twist and turn of the series will be broadcast live and in high-definition on Sky Sports HD, while Channel 5 will screen prime-time free-to-air highlights of all the action throughout the summer.
Alastair Cook’s tourists had been tipped by many to sweep aside the Kiwi challenge during the winter, but only escaped from the Southern Hemisphere with a 0-0 series draw from their three-Test trip thanks to a heroic last wicket stand between Matt Prior and Monty Panesar.
The Essex opener will be hoping to inspire a more commanding display from his troops on home soil and set a positive tone ahead of the Champions Trophy, which will be held on these shores in June, before Michael Clarke’s Australian outfit mount their challenge to reclaim the precious urn.
All three matches during England’s recent tour in the southern hemisphere were drawn, although New Zealand – the widely perceived underdogs going into that series – would have been more disappointed with the result.
England twice batted for an entire day to share the spoils in the first and third tests, the latter of which saw them become just the third side to enter the final day of a test match with four wickets lost and still manage to avoid defeat.
It should be noted, though, that England arrived in New Zealand off the back of a lengthy tour of India and, now refreshed following a two-month break from competition, should provide a much stronger test for the Black Caps.
They will have to do this without the services of Kevin Pietersen, however, who has been ruled out of the entire series with a knee injury he sustained on the recent New Zealand tour.
The big-hitting Surrey batsman had initially targeted to return at the ICC Champions Trophy, which takes place between the end of the one-day series and the two T20 internationals, but he has been forced to miss that as well and will be eager to be fit ahead of this summer’s Ashes series.
This is the first time in five years that England and New Zealand have met at Lord’s, the undisputed home of cricket.
Their last contest in May 2008 was the first test match New Zealand had played without the legendary Stephen Fleming, their second most-capped player, who announced his retirement from the sport following England’s tour of New Zealand in March of that year.
With bad weather affecting the opening three days’ play, a century from Jacob Oram and a 97-run stand from Brendon McCullum helped New Zealand earn a creditable draw.
Back to the present day, England captain Alastair Cook will hope his side can make amends for their below-par display in New Zealand earlier in the year when the teams contest the first of two test matches at Lord’s.
Full details of how to follow the England v New Zealand series:
Sky Sports will provide exclusive live coverage of England’s series against New Zealand on TV, mobile and tablet devices, kicking off a busy summer of international cricket.
There will be live coverage from both Lord’s and Headingley of the five-day affairs, as well as all the action from the subsequent three-match ODI series and two T20 international showdowns, which follow the ICC Champions Trophy, which is also live on Sky Sports.
David Gower introduces live coverage of each day’s play during the test and one-day series, with Ian Ward presenting the T20 internationals.
Expert commentary, analysis and opinion will be provided throughout the series by Sir Ian Botham, Nasser Hussain, Michael Atherton, Michael Holding and guest commentator Ian Smith, while reports and interviews come from Ian Ward.
Live coverage of each day’s play during the test series starts with at least half-an-hour of build-up and comment, except on day one at Lord’s where the Sky Sports team will provide an hour-long in-depth preview of the summer ahead.
Extended highlights will be broadcast each evening at various times across the Sky Sports network, with the first showing usually at 8pm.
New for this year, the highlights show and the popular ‘Verdict’ section have been split into two seperate shows, meaning fans can record each item seperately on their planner.
Charles Colvile presents Sky Sports’ nightly highlights and ‘The Verdict’ alongside a panel of experts including Bob Willis, Jeremy Coney, Mark Butcher and Dominic Cork.
Extra features, analysis, interviews as well as live score updates and text commentary can be found on the Sky Sports cricket website, with additional, behind-the-scenes updates via Twitter – @SkyCricket.
Channel 5’s cricket coverage returns for the summer of 2013 with daily free-to-air highlights as England take on New Zealand and Australia.
Mark Nicholas presents the action on Channel 5 and Channel 5 HD, with commentary coming from the regular team of that includes former England captain Michael Vaughan, ‘The Analyst’ Simon Hughes and the legendary Geoffrey Boycott.
Each one-hour highlights show during the test series, one-dayers and T20 internationals will be shown in a prime-time slot at 7.00pm every night, except for day-night games where highlights will start at approximately 12midnight.
Channel 5 will be the only place to follow the England team on terrestrial television during this Ashes summer.
Ian Dunkley, Commissioning Editor Channel 5 said: “We delighted to confirm that England’s Cricket Internationals will once again be available for viewers to enjoy, free of charge this Summer ahead.
“We have kept together our fantastic presenting team, led by Mark Nicholas, who will entertain viewers with their cricketing knowledge and insightful, if somewhat combative, performance analysis – and we are committed to capturing the very best of the action for everyone to enjoy.”
Channel 5’s coverage of cricket will be continue to be produced by Sunset+Vine. There will be highlights programmes for all England’s domestic Test Matches, One Day Internationals and International Twenty20 Matches throughout the summer of 2013.
England begin a packed summer schedule with BBC cricket correspondent Jonathan Agnew leading the Test Match Special team’s coverage of New Zealand’s visit.
Agnew will be joined in the famous BBC commentary booth by Henry Blofeld and Simon Mann. Summerisers include Michael Vaughan, Phil Tufnell and Geoffrey Boycott.
Live commentary is available on BBC 5 live Sports Extra, BBC Radio 4 Long Wave and via the BBC Sport website, while there will also be regular updates on BBC Radio 5 live.
Live coverage of each day’s play will begin approximately 15-minutes before the beginning of play on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra and BBC Radio 4 LW.
TMS is also available to listen to via the BBC Sport website.
BBC Radio 5 live will also have regular reports, features and special programmes – such as Phil Tufnell and Michael Vaughan’s Cricket Show – throughout the year.
You can also hear cricket coverage on the BBC World Service, and the BBC Sport website will have live text commentaries on all of England’s games, as well as reports, features, columns and blogs.
May 16-20 England v New Zealand – 1st Investec Test Lord’s | Play starts: 11:00 LIVE: Sky Sports / Highlights: Channel 5 ENG won by 170 runs May 24-28 England v New Zealand – 2nd Investec Test Headingley Carnegie | Play starts: 11:00 LIVE SCORECARD Day 1 (Fri) – LIVE: 10.30am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 1 (Fri) – Highlights: 7.00pm-8.00pm – Channel 5 Day 2 (Sat) – LIVE: 10.30am-6.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 2 (Sat) – LIVE: 6.00pm-7.00pm – Sky Sports 2 Day 2 (Sat) – Highlights: 7.00pm-8.00pm – Channel 5 Day 3 (Sun) – LIVE: 10.30am-6.55pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 3 (Sun) – Highlights: 7.00pm-8.00pm – Channel 5 Day 4 (Mon) – LIVE: 10.30am-7.00pm – Sky Sports 2 Day 4 (Mon) – Highlights: 7.00pm-8.00pm – Channel 5 Day 5 (Tue) – LIVE: 10.30am-6.00pm – Sky Sports 1 Day 5 (Tue) – Highlights: 7.00pm-8.00pm – Channel 5 Live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live Sports Extra – LISTEN LIVE Friday 31st May England v New Zealand – 1st NatWest Series ODI Lord’s | Play starts: 10:45 LIVE: Sky Sports / Highlights: Channel 5
Sunday 2nd June England v New Zealand – 2nd NatWest Series ODI The Ageas Bowl | Play starts: 10:45 LIVE: Sky Sports / Highlights: Channel 5 Wednesday 5th June England v New Zealand – 3rd NatWest Series ODI Trent Bridge | Play starts: 14:00 (D/N) LIVE: Sky Sports / Highlights: Channel 5 June 6-23 ICC Champions Trophy 2013 (Live on Sky Sports) Tuesday 25th June England v New Zealand – 1st NatWest International T20 Kia Oval | Play starts: 18:30 (D/N) LIVE: Sky Sports / Highlights: Channel 5 Thursday 27th June England v New Zealand – 2nd NatWest International T20 Kia Oval | Play starts: 18:30 (D/N) LIVE: Sky Sports / Highlights: Channel 5