The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Wednesday (August) announced their Future Tours Program (FTP) from 2023 to 2027. In a major decision, Pakistan are set to host the 2023 Asia Cup (in 50-over format) and the 2025 ICC Champions Trophy. This raises a major question of whether Team India will finally be forced to tour Pakistan.
The bilateral matches between India and Pakistan have stopped for more than a decade now. The last time Pakistan visited India was in 2012-13 season when they played three ODIs and two T20s. The last time India cricket team visited Pakistan was back in 2008, when the PCB hosted the Asia Cup.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) will be in a quandary now with Pakistan set to host not one but two major tournament. The 2023 Asia Cup will be in a 50-over format as it precedes the 2023 50-over World Cup which is set to be hosted by India.
“The PCB has scheduled around 238 days of international cricket during the four-year period comprising 27 ICC World Test Championship fixtures (13 home and 14 away), 47 One-Day Internationals (26 home and 21 home) and 56 Twenty20 Internationals (27 home and 29 away). These include matches in the ACC 50-over Asia Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy, which Pakistan will stage in 2023 and 2025, respectively,” the PCB said in a statement.
“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 three-nation ODI series. The Future Tours Programme is prepared collectively by the ICC Member Boards,” the statement added.
Pakistan, though, will not be facing India in the next cycle of World Test Championships as well. “In the ICC World Test Championship 2023-2025, Pakistan will play Tests against Australia (away), Bangladesh (home), England (home), South Africa (away), Sri Lanka (away) and West Indies (home), while their matches in the 2025-2027 championship are against Bangladesh (away), England (away), New Zealand (home), South Africa (home), Sri Lanka (home) and West Indies (away),” the PCB statement read.
“Pakistan will host the Asia Cup 2023 and triangular series in February 2025 in the lead up to the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 and the ICC Champions Trophy 2025, respectively, it will 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,” the statement added.
Team India will next take on Pakistan in their first match of the Asia Cup 2022 in Dubai on August 28. This will be the first clash between the two arch-rivals since the T20 World Cup 2021.