Wellington: New Zealand have cut short next year's home test series against Australia to two matches to help players to play at least some part in the lucrative Indian Premier league.
The early finish would allow players to play the final three weeks of the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL), before the Twenty20 World Cup in the West Indies starts on April 30.
Six senior Kiwi players, including captain Daniel Vettori, delayed signing their contracts with New Zealand's cricket board until late July, after conflicts between the IPL and the team's international programme were clarified.
IPL player payments are made on a pro-rata basis, reducing the money paid to players when they miss parts of the tournament.
The Australians traditionally play three tests when touring their neighbours but New Zealand Cricket (NZC) said it had cut the series back to two tests due to the "compressed nature of the tour".
"Playing test cricket in New Zealand after the cessation of daylight saving and deep into the second week of April is not realistic," NZC chief executive Justin Vaughan said in a statement on Monday.
"Therefore our only option has been to limit the series to two tests."