Rahul Johri    Getty Images
Rahul Johri Getty Images

India s Future Tour Programme (FTP) is in place and they are set to play 158 international matches between 2019 and 2023. The BCCI had shown the proposal to ICC in the meeting at Singapore on December 5 and 7. In February 2018, the finishing touches will be added to the proposed FTP and the schedule will be out. The proposed FTP showed rise in T20I matches and focus on IPL during the month of April-May.

Rahul Johri, CEO of BCCI, has played a crucial role in drafting the FTP. India are scheduled to play 37 Tests during the 2019-23. Test cricket as the format is unable to draw crowd attention in India. Sourav Ganguly supported pink-ball cricket and believes that can draw more crowd for the longer format in India. James Sutherland, CA s CEO, has already proposed for a day-night Test with India in 2018, unless BCCI agree with the same. Amidst all this, ICC introduced the concept of 4-day Tests. However, Johri opines the longer format can be profitable and stable.

In an interview with ESPNcricinfo, Johri explains in detail about FTP, on playing with the top nations and Duleep Trophy.

Focus on playing against Australia, England and South Africa in new FTP: If you look at the framework for the Test league that has been created, we have to play at least six opponents in two years home or away and a minimum of two Tests per series. We are looking at good content for the Indian fans, the cricketers, for the broadcasters, for all the stakeholders. The top team is India, firstly. For India to have the best context we believed [playing those teams is] the best way forward to build the FTP.

Is Test cricket under threat? Is it losing its commercial value? The BCCI is committed to Test cricket. It is evident the existing calendar, too. We played an extended Test season at home. We are playing South Africa, England and Australia in 2018-19 (before the World Cup). As CEOs of our boards, our primary responsibility is to execute the directions given by our boards. While economics plays a role in sport, only economics cannot dictate how Test cricket is played.

On playing day-night Test: I feel it would be too premature to jump the gun on this. It needs a lot of deliberation and hence I said the general body of BCCI will discuss day-night Test cricket threadbare.

On Duleep Trophy being played under lights: The BCCI is an organisation which is at the forefront of innovations. We played the Duleep Trophy to experiment with pink-ball cricket. That experiment continues. How it manifests itself is the decision left to the BCCI general body. Once the specialists decide, we will implement it.