Lahore, Aug 17 (Ajit Weekly News) In the Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2023-27 cycle, released by the International Cricket Council (ICC), Pakistan are scheduled to play around 238 days of international cricket during the four-year period comprising 27 WTC matches (13 home and 14 away), 47 ODIs (26 home and 21 home) and 56 T20Is (27 home and 29 away).
The matches also include Pakistan hosting 50-over 2023 Asia Cup, in the lead up to Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 and 2025 ICC Champions Trophy. The number of matches may increase depending on where Pakistan finishes in the ICC and ACC events between 2023 and 2027, as well as in the 2025 and 2026 ODI tri-series.
In the WTC 2023-25 cycle, Pakistan will play Tests against Australia (away), Bangladesh (home), England (home), South Africa (away), Sri Lanka (away) and West Indies (home). In the 2025-27 cycle, they will be up against Bangladesh (away), England (away), New Zealand (home), South Africa (home), Sri Lanka (home) and West Indies (away). It means that Pakistan will be hosting all Full Members except India.
“While finalising our Future Tours Programme 2023-2027 in a tight and densely-packed cricket calendar, we have given priority to context, quality and player workload. We have also tried to find an appropriate balance across all the three formats so that these continue to co-exist meaningfully.
“I am sure that our cricket fans will be delighted to know that top-ranked and attractive sides such as Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will visit Pakistan to compete in matches for the ICC World Test Championship.
“Additionally, Afghanistan, Australia, Ireland and Zimbabwe will also tour Pakistan for the white-ball matches, which means 10 of the 12 ICC Full Members will play cricket in Pakistan during the four-year period. This is exciting!” said PCB Chief Executive Faisal Hasnain.
In an interesting development, ODI tri-series makes a return to Pakistan’s calendar for the first time since 2004-05. New Zealand and South Africa will join Pakistan in the tri-series in 2025, which will take place in the build-up to the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy tentatively scheduled for February, while England and Sri Lanka will participate in the series in October-November 2026.
“We are also mindful that our sides must be provided with the best preparation opportunities so that they perform strongly in ICC competitions. Accordingly, this has also been an integral part of our strategy around scheduling, as we have scheduled appropriate international matches in the lead up to the ICC events.”
“Furthermore, and in line with our vision for triangular ODI series to contribute in increasing excitement and attracting greater audiences, we have so far scheduled two tri-series in February 2025 and October/November 2026, involving New Zealand and South Africa, and England and Sri Lanka, respectively. This is also something for the fans to look forward to,” added Hasnain.
Due to the Champions Trophy earmarked for February 2025, the window for Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the year is marked for March-May 2025, making it a direct clash with the Indian Premier League 2025 season. The 2026 window for PSL is kept to December 2025-January 2026 before making a return to its usual January-February window in 2027 (as well as 2024).
Pakistan will also play 11 T20Is against the Netherlands, Ireland and England in the build up to the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2024, which will be jointly hosted by the United States and the West Indies. Likewise, ahead of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2026, which will be co-hosted by India and Sri Lanka, Pakistan will play Australia in three home T20Is.
Apart from Australia, three other sides — Afghanistan, Ireland and Zimbabwe — will also play white-ball matches in Pakistan between 2023 and 2027. “The certainty and clarity around our home bilateral fixtures until 2027 provides us the platform to put together a robust commercial programme, so that we can optimise the exploitation of our commercial rights.”
“This will enable us to hopefully increase our revenues and channel these back into the further development of our cricket, all across from our grassroots talent hunt to our international playing facilities,” concluded Hasnain.
–Ajit Weekly News
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