CHENNAI - The long wait for India and Pakistan to play a bilateral Test series is set to end in December 2015. The two sub-continental giants will take on each other in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in a full series comprising two Tests, five One-day Internationals and two T20 games.
As per the Future Tours and Programmes (FTP) schedule drawn up by the ICC, they will play four more full-length series over the next eight years. "There has been a proposal to resume bilateral cricket ties between India and Pakistan. As I understand as ICC chairman, there has been an agreement that the two teams will play each other soon," ICC chairman N Srinivasan said on Friday.
When the brass was contacted on the issue, they too agreed. "We have set an eight-year plan and are working towards it," a BCCI source said. The 2015 series is a 'home' series for Pakistan, but owing to domestic tensions, the matches will have to be played in UAE. "As part of the restructuring of the FTP, India have agreed to play Pakistan in off-shore venues and as I understand, the BCCI working committee has agreed to it," Srinivasan said.
BCCI had earlier strongly opposed India's matches at off-shore venues, but the Indian Premier League this year in UAE was an ice-breaker. "The tournament was very well organized and we are happy with the arrangements in UAE," the source added.
The last Test match between India and Pakistan was played in Bangalore in 2007. After a five-year pause due to friction between the two countries following the 26/11 attacks in 2008, Pakistan returned for a short series to India in late 2012, when they played three ODIs and two T20s. Since then, there has been no clearance from the Centre for Pakistan to tour India.
According to the new FTP, the first tour of Pakistan to India will be in November-December 2017, when they will play three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s. The two teams will play 12 Test matches over the next eight years. The 2023 World Cup will be played only in India:
The 50-over World Cup in February-March of 2023 will be played exclusively in India. There had been two 50-over World Cups played in the subcontinent before this, in 1996 and 2011, both of which took place in three countries. While the 1996 event was shared by India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the 2011 event took place in India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
In addition to that, the 2016 World T20 and the 2021 Champions Trophy will also be played in India. "In the past, India used to get one ICC event in 16-18 years. We had the 2011 World Cup in India after 15 years and that we had to share with other countries. Now three events will happen in eight years and that is very significant," Srinivasan said.
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