England are considering resting players for their tour later this year against the Black Caps to reduce the dangers of "burn out".

The Black Caps will play two tests and five T20s against England in New Zealand, starting in late October.

However, the tour will be outside the realm of cricket's new World Test Championship, a newly designed tournament which hopes to add context to increase interest in the game's longest format.

New Zealand Cricket boss David White says the two tests played in Mt Maunganui and Seddon Park against England is an "anomaly" that was agreed to before the announcement of the Test Championship.


"When we came up with the test match championship a couple years ago, we all had pre-existing contract agreements," White explained to Radio Sport's D'Arcy Waldegrave. "So we've got to honour those with our broadcast partners of course and commercial partners. And everyone has agreed to do that. So it's not a big issue. It's just the one anomaly at the start of the test match championship."

With no Test Championship points on the line in those two tests, Ashley Giles, England's director of men's cricket, admitted that there may be temptation to rest a few players ahead of their tours to South Africa and Sri Lanka, which do count towards the new test tournament.

"We're not trying to lessen the importance of that [New Zealand] series, but it's not in the World Test Championship," Giles told Cricinfo. "We've got a lot of cricket this winter and we need to be careful with some of the workloads. It isn't part of the Test Championship so we'll use that series as we see really."

NZ Cricket CEO David White and captain Kane Williamson. Photo / Photosport
NZ Cricket CEO David White and captain Kane Williamson. Photo / Photosport

Giles reasoned that resting key players could be crucial to avoid burn out during such a busy schedule, pointing to England's near calamity against Ireland last week as an example of the "physical and mental strain" of playing too many games.

"We play more home cricket than anyone," Giles said. "And while there may be some things you can do with the schedule, there are other pressures - money pressures, TV pressures - that make it a very tricky balance. We'll probably have the same number of fixtures but more rotation of players.

"That puts more focus how we care for players and make sure we don't get any burn out. We've got to be flexible with the players otherwise we're going to lose them.

"There was undoubtedly a hangover from the World Cup during the Ireland test. After the emotional and physical strain of that seven weeks and particularly the final… I worried how we would pick the players up if we lost. Fortunately we didn't, but heading into a test match against Ireland a week later was difficult for them."

Reacting to Giles' comments, White insisted that the upcoming two tests will be important for both sides in preparation for future tours and that he expects England to field a strong team.


"He (Giles) made a few comments … It's the first I've heard of it. I'd be very surprised if it's a significantly weakened team.

"We've had no indication from the ECB that's going to be the case. These guys love playing international cricket, they love test cricket and I know Joe Root is very keen to re-establish himself as a T20 player.

"I think they'll be a strong side … we're always respectful of each other and we always put our best teams forward."

The World Test Championship launches with the Ashes on Thursday night. The newly designed test tournament will be contested over two-year cycles in a league format, after which the top two teams will contest a final.