Pakistan Team    Getty Images
Pakistan Team Getty Images

According to ICC’s new Future Tours Programme (FTP), Pakistan, who were supposed to play 104 matches across all formats, will now play more than 120 matches. In a report published in Dawn Pakistan s FTP has 80 per cent more matches against strong teams and 20 per cent against weak.

The ICC executive committee meeting was held in Singapore earlier this month. A PCB official commented on Pakistan s new FTP.

We are in a good position

Presently, we are in a good position as the PCB did not prefer to play matches against lowly teams like Afghanistan, Ireland, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe, the official said.

A propaganda is being spread that Pakistan will play less matches while teams like Bangladesh, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Afghanistan will play more matches.

In fact, these four [lowly] teams will compete more against each other. Therefore, the number [of their games] may be [comparatively] more. Whereas Pakistan will play 80 to 85 per cent of their matches against strong teams and while remaining fixtures will be against average opponents like Bangladesh, Ireland, Afghanistan and Zimbabwe, he elaborated.

Talking about Indo-Pak bilateral matches, PCB have advised ICC not to finalise the FTP until the issue is resolved.

As the PCB has advised the ICC not to finalise the FTP until its Resolution Committee settles the issue between India and Pakistan over the resumption of their bilateral series, the game s governing body may announce the FTP early next year with a condition that Pakistan s matches will be subject to the resolution of the [bilateral series] issue between India and Pakistan, the official said.

According to reports, Indian Premier League (IPL) has been recognised as a global event. This has resulted to no International cricket 15 days before or after IPL every year.

No cricket board can form its best team

Many top players from across the cricketing world feature in the IPL, so no cricket board can form its best team [for international contests] during the IPL. However, still England is opposing the proposal as its own domestic cricket is on during the IPL [in April-May]. That s why Pakistan and England will play a two-Test series during May 2018, the official said.

When asked about Pakistan’s fixtures during IPL period as their players are not allowed to participate in the league, the official suggested that Pakistan would possibly play lower-ranked countries during that period.