BCCI set to snub Pakistan in World Test Championship

NAGPUR – The BCCI is all set to have its way at the ICC Futures Tours and Programmes (FTP) Meeting as the Board will keep Pakistan out of the six nations it will play during the upcoming World Test Championship.

Along with the Pakistan snub, the BCCI will also look to correct what current regime terms as a “flawed FTP” wherein they will have two dedicated home series slots every year in –February-March and October-November, reported Press Trust of India.

As per the schedules approved, starting 2019, nine top Test teams will play six series over two years (three at home and three away) in the two-year Test championship.

It has been reliably learnt that during the upcoming meeting in Singapore next month, BCCI will name Australia, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh as their six opponents. BCCI CEO Rahul Johri and acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary are supposed to travel to Singapore for the meeting.

“The ICC knows the ground realities and especially chairman Shashank Manohar as he was BCCI president sometime back. We can’t play Pakistan as it is Indian government’s prerogative to allow us play them in a bilateral series,” a senior BCCI official told PTI on conditions of anonymity.

“Our proposed opponent list is all set to be passed at the FTP Meet in Singapore. Also as per new World Test Championship rules, if the opposition is not in the proposed list, India will not have to forfeit points or pay penalty.”

Apart from acting president CK Khanna, no other principal office bearers have come on record to support Virat Kohli’s claims of fatigue, which many believe is due to flawed FTP calendar that was set earlier.

“People are talking about two India versus Sri Lanka series inside four months but that’s only a part of the issue. Sri Lanka last played a Test series in India in 2009 so they have not played here for eight years. At some point in time, they had to come to India for a Test series. However, the earlier regime while deciding on FTP never looked at the balance,” the influential official said.

“We played 13 home Tests in 2016-17 season and the whole of 2018, we will be playing abroad. Now what kind of FTP scheduling is this? This is where the problem is and no wonder Virat is annoyed.

“For proper balance, we will now have these two slots – February-March and October-November for home cricket. The December-January is a slot where we can go for away tours,” the official explained.

BCCI CEO Rahul Johri was in town to watch the second day’s play of the second cricket Test between India and Pakistan. He also met ICC chairman Manohar, who came to watch the proceedings for some time with close friend and Maharashtra CA president Abhay Apte.

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