Where will India slot the Afghanistan Test?

The PCB has made it clear it will do whatever it can to challenge the BCCI’s decision to not play any matches against Pakistan till May 2023

Pakistan given fewer matches than associate nations by ICC

The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) on Monday questioned the BCCI's proposed Future Tours Programme (FTP) structure for the 2019-2023 cycle, which expectedly does not feature any India-Pakistan bilateral series.

India has acted as a mentor for Afghanistan cricket, allowing the national side from the war-torn nation to play home matches for shorter formats of the game on the outskirts of Delhi.

With one eye on "performance and stature" assumption and another on the scheduling of home global season (from April 2019), the BCCI positioned Australia, England and South Africa in Group "A", New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh were clubbed in Group "B" while Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland in Group'C'. Even before the new FTP kicks in, both countries have secured opponents for their maiden Tests.

The BCCI, on its part, is in no mood of budging from its stance, saying India would not play Pakistan outside ICC events unless Indian government approves it.

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Ireland and Afghanistan, along with Zimbabwe, are not part of the Test Championship league, which will commence immediately after the 2019 World Cup.

Ireland 's roster is somewhat richer in comparison to Afghanistan's in that they play half of the top-nine countries. That translates to 302 days of worldwide cricket at home and away during those four years in the event of each of the 37 Tests going to the fifth day. Exposure for Afghan cricketers is expected to be the main highlight when they come calling to play against a team which is now top-ranked in the Test format. In the new FTP, a massive 260 T20Is will be played, doubling from 32 per year to 65.

The four-year schedule was drawn under the premise of hosting one team from Group "A", two teams from Group "B" and one team from Group "C", for the first two seasons (2019-20, 2020-21) while playing host to one each from Group'A", Group "B" and two from Group "C' for seasons (2021-22 and 2022-23). India are scheduled to play three T20Is, three ODIs and five Tests in England. The team recently drew an ODI series against West Indies and had defeated Zimbabwe in an ODI series a year earlier.

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