CHRISTCHURCH, NEW ZEALAND - JANUARY 20: Kane Williamson, Tim Southee and Trent Boult of New Zealand (L-R) line up for their national anthem during day one of the Second Test match between New Zealand and Bangladesh at Hagley Oval on January 20, 2017 in Christchurch, New Zealand. (Photo by Kai Schwoerer/Getty Images)

Australia headlines as New Zealand's main competitor in February 2024 after Australia confirmed its return to New Zealand after eight years.

The reason for the eight-year absence from New Zealand remains unknown as the Kiwis have featured in multiple T20 series and a Test series back in 2019-20 in Australia but not on home soil.

New Zealand has also added multiple back-to-back matches in their upcoming summer in the hopes of boosting crowds and helping maintain a smaller environmental footprint rather than moving from place to place on a regular basis. New Zealand Cricket Chief Executive David White explained the idea to ESPN Cricinfo.

"In terms of venues with lights, we've been able to schedule several back-to-back night matches and day matches to ensure good opportunities for both families and adult patrons, respectively, which we think is good for the game," White said
"It's a strategy that also complements our need to prioritise energy efficiency - and to just do the right thing as a sports organisation, given the challenges we're facing from climate change these days."

Australia isn't the only team that New Zealand will take on in the summer with three ODIs and three T20s against Bangladesh in December, Five T20s against Pakistan in January, two Tests against South Africa in early February before adding another chapter to the famous Australia-New Zealand rivalry with three T20s and two Test matches. The full schedule of the Australiaian series is as follows:

Australia's 2024 tour of New Zealand

First T20I: Wellington, February 21

Second T20I: Auckland, February 23

Third T20I: Auckland, February 25

First Test: Wellington, February 29-March 4

Second Test: Christchurch, March 8-12

The T20s will capture the interest of many cricket fans as Australia fell to New Zealand in the most recent T20 World Cup tournament in 2022 eliminating them from any chance of going back-to-back as world T20 champions.

The previous Test series in Australia in the summer of 2019-20 also intrigued both nations despite the 3-0 series win for Australia. The fierce battle between Matthew Wade and Neil Wagner had everyone on edge especially after Wagner then found a potential weakness with Steven Smith's batting with a barrage for well-directed short balls.

The full New Zealand schedule is as follows:

New Zealand men's fixtures

1st ODI: December 17, Dunedin
2nd ODI: December 20, Nelson
3rd ODI: December 23, Napier
1st T20I: December 27, Napier
2nd T20I: December 29, Tauranga
3rd T20I: December 31, Tauranga
1st T20I: January 12, Auckland
2nd T20I, January 14, Hamilton
3rd T20I, January 17, Dunedin
4th T20I, January 19, Christchurch
5th T20I, January 21, Christchurch
1st Test: February 4 to 8, Tauranga
2nd Test: February 13-17, Hamilton
The New Zealand women's side is also set to feature big games against Pakistan and England, creating a really exciting summer ahead for the fans of cricket in New Zealand. New Zealand's women's A team will also feature in games against England's women's A team throughout the summer.

New Zealand women's fixtures

1st T20I: December 3, Dunedin
2nd T20I: December 5, Dunedin
3rd T20I: December 9, Queenstown
1st ODI: December 12, Queenstown
2nd ODI: December 15, Christchurch
3rd ODI: December 18, Christchurch
1st T20I: March 19, Dunedin
2nd T20I: March 22, Nelson
3rd T20I: March 24, Nelson
4th T20I: March 27, Wellington
5th T20I: March 29, Wellington
1st ODI: April 1, Wellington
2nd ODI: April 4, Hamilton
3rd ODI: April 7, Hamilton