There are six first class teams in New Zealand, the same number as in Australia and South Africa, but unlike in Super Rugby, they are not of the same standard. It is the opinion of many that there aren't enough good cricketers to fill six line-ups, but in my opinion that is completely irrelevant; the problem is a lack of a proper pyramid.
Domestic cricket in the land of rugby is often viewed as being substandard.
Once the Plunket Shield concludes in late February, we are into Ford Trophy season. My recommendation would be that the Plunket Shield and Ford Trophy are condensed slightly, each into a two-week shorter time frame. This way, the new competition could fit onto the end of the Plunket Shield season. There could then be a two match series between the North Island and the South Island. I would also recommend that these two matches are five days long, like Test matches, and take place at the Basin Reserve and University Oval respectively.
Players on the fringes of Test selection could then push for places in the side before the Test series.
North Island Kiwis vs South Island Ferns
1st match at The Basin Reserve
First week of March
South Island Ferns vs North Island Kiwis
2nd match at University Oval
North Island Kiwis
Michael Bates (Auckland)
Martin Guptill (Auckland)
Mitchell McCleneghan (Auckland)
Bruce Martin (Auckland)
Colin Munro (Auckland)
Corey Anderson (Northern Districts)
Trent Boult (Northern Districts)
Daniel Flynn (Northern Districts)
Tim Southee (Northern Districts)
BJ Watling (Northern Districts)
Grant Elliott (Wellington)
* James Frankin (Wellington)
Mark Gillespie (Wellington)
Jeetan Patel (Wellington)
Luke Ronchi (Wellington)
BJ Watling and Luke Ronchi would likely take the gloves in one match each, although there would be the possibility that one could play as a specialist batsman. Similarly, the seam bowlers would likely be rotated. This squad would be slightly short on batting with plenty of all-rounders. Daniel Flynn would have opened to try to keep hold of the place that he failed to cement in the tour of South Africa. James Franklin as a possible skipper.
South Island Ferns
Todd Astle (Central Districts)
Dean Brownlie (Central Districts)
Peter Fulton (Central Districts)
Tom Latham (Central Districts)
Rob Nicol (Central Districts)
Doug Bracewell (Canterbury)
Carl Cachopa (Canterbury)
Jamie How (Canterbury) *
Adam Milne (Canterbury)
Tarun Nethula (Canterbury)
Neil Broom (Otago)
Ian Butler (Otago)
Jimmy Neesham (Otago)
Hamish Rutherford (Otago)
Neil Wagner (Otago)
This side would be more of a testing ground for batsmen, with players like Fulton and Rutherford getting the chance to have strutted their stuff before the England Tests, and thereby potentially giving the selectors a little less to worry about. Adam Milne, one of the young talents in New Zealand, would play both games for certain. Jamie How is an experienced player, and would be a possible for the captaincy of this team over Peter Fulton.
Finally, the name of the competition. I think it should be named after a great of New Zealand cricket. The Turner Trophy has a nice ring to it.