NEW DELHI: The Indian men's team will be playing a whopping 138 bilateral international matches during the next five-year Future Tours & Programme (FTP) Cycle between May, 2023 to April, 2027, the ICC said on Wednesday.
Most sought-after team commercially, the 'Men In Blue' will play 38 Tests, 42 ODIs and 61 T20Is in the five-year period and focus on shortest format is an indicator of how priorities across formats will be changing.
The ODI bilaterals will remain but mostly be three-match series. India expectedly has a choc-a-bloc calendar but as usual, there won't be any bilateral cricket series with Pakistan due to obvious political reasons.
The 12 Members 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 one. This includes the next two cycles of the ICC Men's World Test Championship, multiple ICC events and a host of bilateral as well as tri-series action.
As far as India's schedule is concerned, the traditional India versus Australia Test series for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, which used to be a four-match affair for a long time will become five-Test series.
India will be playing five-Test series against both England and Australia and also on the T20 front, there is a lot of five-match series which is on expected lines with the broadcasters' demand with premium advertisement rates for short-form matches.
During the next FTP cycle, India would be travelling to West Indies (July-Aug 2023) for a full tri-format series including 2 Tests, ODIs and 3 T20Is.
The marquee five-Test home series against England will be tentatively held between Jan-March in 2024.
While Australia is visiting India early next year to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in a four-Test series as a part of previous cycle, India's next big trip Down Under is in December-January, 2024-25 when they play Australia in a five-Test series for the first time since 1991.
In this cycle, India will host Bangladesh for a two-Test series in September 2024.
India to get 27 ODIs before '23 ODI WC starting with Zimbabwe series --The Indian team will play 27 ODI games before it plays the 2023 50-over World Cup in India scheduled in October-November next year.
The 27 ODIs start with India's series against Zimbabwe in Harare from Thursday.
The chunk among the 27 ODIs is from the previous FTP cycle which also includes home three-match series against South Africa and an away three-match event against New Zealand just after T20 World Cup.
Australia and England to play 40 and 43 Tests respectively --Australia and England during the same five-year phase will be playing 40 and 43 test matches respectively, which is a few games more than India.
The inaugural World Test Champions New Zealand in the next cycle have 32 Tests earmarked, while South Africa in the same duration play only 29 Tests. They mostly play two and some three-Test series.
Pakistan has only 27 Tests between May, '23-April '27 while Sri Lanka and West Indies play 25 longest format games each respectively.