Kiwis optimistic about big four touring New Zealand every year

      New Zealand Cricket is optimistic that they will host a tour by one of world cricket's big four nations -- England, Australia, India and South Africa -- in each year of the next international calendar. The International Cricket Council is hammering out its post-2012 Future Tours Programme and the prospects are bright for England, Australia, India and South Africa visiting New Zealand in each of the following five years with the exception of 2015, when New Zealand would co-host the World Cup. "It is looking positive for New Zealand. Certainly in the short term we do have those big nations touring on a frequent basis," the New Zealand Herald quoted New Zealand Cricket CEO Justin Vaughan, as saying yesterday. Tours by India and England are the most lucrative, Australia are always a draw card and South Africa round out the big wheels at the international table. The ICC plan does not include the Indian Premier League or the Champions League windows, or a test championship plan, which most countries want, other than India and England. The international players' body, FICA, rejected the ICC draft and offered an alternative which included those elements and what it believes is a more sensible approach to player welfare. Its test championship plan includes collective bundling of rights and graded revenues over a short time frame, and an annual ODI championship. The ICC is not bound to accept any of FICA's ideas, but should give them serious thought. The ICC thinking appears to be bed down the outline for post-2012 international cricket, then make adjustments within that framework. New Zealand Cricket, who work on a four-year financial cycle, need the big ticket items on a regular basis. "We're happy with the [draft] programme and the reason is we're getting those teams touring on a frequent basis," Vaughan said.

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