No bilateral cricket series against Pak in 2023-27 FTP

India won’t be playing Pakistan in any bilateral series in the 2023-2027 cycle. In the Future Tours Programme (FTP) sent to all state associations, the board has kept the columns for games against Pakistan ‘blank’.

Besides, multi-nation tournaments, the Indian men’s team will play 38 Tests (20 home and 18 away), 42 ODIs (21 each home and away) and 61 T20Is (31 home and 30 away) in the 2023-2027 cycle.

The BCCI can’t take any decision on a bilateral series with Pakistan until it gets a nod from the Government of India.

The number of bilateral matches India will play across formats has been reduced from the previous cycle (163 to 141) due to an ICC event every year and a bigger dedicated window for the Indian Premier League (75-80 days every season), but BCCI secretary Jay Shah, in a circular, indicated that the quality of the content had improved.

India and Pakistan players shake hands after their Asia Cup Super 12 fixture. (AP)

“However, the number of home Test matches has gone up along with an optimum mix of quality opponents across all three international formats. A regular IPL season along with a fixed home season also allows for ideal preparation against quality opponents in the right format going into ICC events.”

India will be playing against Australia and England more frequently, with a Test or white-ball series scheduled every year (either home or away).

“India will be playing 5-match Test series against both England and Australia on a home-and-away basis every two years i.e. one home series every four years. In addition, there will also be standalone tours (home and away) of 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is. Thus, India will play 5 Tests, 3 ODIs and 5 T20Is in the cycle (Home and Away) against Australia as well as England comprising one annual series (either red ball or white ball) every year in this cycle.”

With T20 matches against West Indies and New Zealand generating more fan interest, India will be playing 5 T20Is at home against these teams.

According to the circular, the BCCI kept three things in mind while finalising the FTP.

“Content, including balance across international format; Quality of opponents across formats, both home and away; Regular Home Season and Fixed annual IPL windows.”

Taxing issues

Meanwhile, the BCCI is hopeful of sorting out the tax exemption issue over next year’s Cricket World Cup with the Indian government soon. The Board is obligated to deliver a tax exemption or a tax solution to the ICC for this event.

As per ICC rules, the host country needs to get a tax exemption from its government, but India has no rule in place for granting full exemption.

The BCCI has advised ICC that in line with the tax order for the 2016 ICC World T20, it was expecting to obtain a 10 percent (excluding surcharges) tax order as an interim measure for the 2023 event within the required timeframe.

“The ICC has now received a 20% (excluding surcharges) tax order for its broadcast revenue for the 2023 event from the tax authorities in India. The BCCI is currently working with the Ministry of Finance, Government of India, and have represented against this 20% (excluding surcharges) tax order at the very highest level and are hopeful that a 10% (excluding surcharges) tax order would be forthcoming shortly,” the BCCI informed its members.

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