Wellington:New Zealand's home series against Australia in March will make up two rather than three Tests, New Zealand Cricket said on Monday.
The New Zealand team will host a record six Tests in the 2009-2010 season: three against Pakistan, one against Bangladesh and two against Australia in a home season stretching from November to March.
"New Zealand has never before hosted more than five Tests in a season, so the six Test matches being played this summer is a tremendous program," New Zealand Cricket chief executive Justin Vaughan said.
New Zealand will first host Pakistan in three Tests at Dunedin from Nov. 24-28, Wellington from Dec. 3-7 and Hamilton from Dec. 11-15.
Pakistan and New Zealand were scheduled to meet in three Tests and five One-Day Internationals in Pakistan later this year but the tour was abandoned because of the threat of terrorism. The two nations agreed to play the Test matches in New Zealand, with revenues going to Pakistan as the "home" team.
Pakistan has yet to confirm a venue for the limited-overs matches, scheduled for November, but reported last week they are close to an agreement to play in Dubai.
Bangladesh and New Zealand will meet in a Twenty20 International on Feb. 3 and in three One-Day Internationals, on Feb. 5, Feb. 8 and Feb. 11 before playing a one-off Test at Hamilton from Feb. 15-19.
Australia is due to arrive immediately after Bangladesh's departure to play two Twenty20 matches, five One-Day Internationals for the Chappell-Hadlee Trophy and Tests at Wellington from March 19-23 and Hamilton from March 27-31.
Vaughan said scheduling a third Test was not viable.
"Playing Test cricket in New Zealand after the cessation of daylight saving and deep into the second week of April is not realistic," he said.
"Therefore our only option has been to limit the series to two Tests."