Two sets of five-match series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in each of the upcoming cycles of the ICC World Test Championship has been one of the major highlights in the ICC Men’s FTP cycle of 2023-27 released on Wednesday.
The 12 members in men’s cricket will play a total of 777 international matches — 173 Tests, 281 ODIs and 323 T20Is — in the 2023-2027 FTP cycle compared to the 694 in the current cycle.
As per the FTP, Australia are set to welcome India for a five-match series in the 2023-25 cycle of the WTC while a reciprocal tour is set to be played in the 2025-27 cycle. It will be the first time in over 30 years that the two sides will clash in a five-match Test series, the last time being in 1992.
Australia, England and India all play five-match Test series as part of the third and fourth editions of the WTC, which also comprises 19 two-match series and five three-match series each in the two editions of the Championship that run from 2023-25 and 2025-27.
Also, England, Australia and India will feature in the greatest number of Test matches during the cycle, as they are set to play 22, 21 and 20 matches in the longest format of the game respectively.
India will also be playing one home Test against Afghanistan in June 2026. In that particular series, three ODIs will also be played between the two teams. Later in the year, India are also slated to play three away T20Is against Afghanistan.
The FTP also confirms that India will play 38 Tests in the 2023-27 WTC cycles to start post IPL 2023, 20 of which are against Australia and England combined. In the 2023-25 WTC cycle, India will be hosting New Zealand, England, Bangladesh while they play Australia, West Indies and South Africa away.
For 2025-27 WTC cycle, India face Australia, West Indies, South Africa at home while playing New Zealand, England and Sri Lanka away. India don’t play Pakistan in any of the above-mentioned WTC cycles and play only two Tests against Sri Lanka and Bangladesh between 2023-27.
“I’d like to thank our Members for the effort that has gone into creating this FTP for the next four years. We are incredibly lucky to have three vibrant formats of the game, with an outstanding programme of ICC global events and strong bilateral and domestic cricket and this FTP is designed to allow all cricket to flourish.”
“The landscape around the game is continuing to evolve and we will work closely with Members as we collectively adapt to that. We are committed to growing the game and giving more fans more opportunities to enjoy cricket, but are very mindful of the need to balance that ambition with the welfare of players,” said Wasim Khan, GM of Cricket, ICC.
Test teams outside the WTC have also scheduled a substantial number of bilateral Test matches in an effort to boost playing opportunities in cricket’s traditional multi-day format. The upcoming cycle of the FTP also features five major ICC events, starting with the Men’s Cricket World Cup next year in India.
West Indies and the USA will host the Men’s T20 World Cup in 2024, which will be followed by the return of the Champions Trophy in 2025 to be hosted by Pakistan. India and Sri Lanka will jointly host the Men’s T20 World Cup in 2026 and the FTP cycle will be rounded off by the Men’s Cricket World Cup to be hosted by South Africa, Zimbabwe and Namibia in 2027.
(Inputs from IANS)