The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) have decided that the Indian team will be playing a majority of their Test cricket over the next eight years against England and Australia, their associates in the sport’s new world order alias the ‘Big Three’. According to the proposed schedule for the eight-year period from 2016 to 2023, Mahendra Singh Dhoni & Co will contest four five-Test series on a home-and-away basis. Similarly, they’ll travel to Australia twice and host the men from Down Under on two other occasions for four-Test series.
At the same time, the Indians will play in only three-Test series against South Africa and a series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand will not include more than two Tests.
BCCI secretary Sanjay Patel, who attended ICC’s meeting in Melbourne few days ago where N Srinivasan was appointed as ICC chairman, said that the modalities had been worked out in such a manner that every one gets chance to play each other.
“We have made sure that India hosts two series at home during our winter except when we travel to Australia to play a Test series. The bilateral agreement has been designed in such a way that it will benefit other countries too,” Patel said.
It is also learnt that Bangladesh will be playing their first-ever Test match on Indian soil next year. Closer to the present, the West Indies are scheduled to visit later this year for a tour-from October 4 to November 18-that will include three Tests and five ODIs. Patel also revealed that the Champions League T20 will be held in India this year despite earlier reports that suggested that the tournament might be shifted to the UAE.
And closer to home, BCCI has signed a MoU with the Pakistan Cricket Board but Patel informed that all tours regarding Pakistan would have to be cleared by the Indian government.
“We have let the PCB know about our stance that we have no issues in playing a series with them but we will need our government’s clearance first,” Patel added.
Breakin the monotony
Meanwhile, the BCCI have also tried to reduce the monotony of long tours for the team by ensuring that they are not in the same country for a prolonged period by breaking up the schedule.
“For instance, if India is playing a four-Test series in Australia, then they’ll then travel to New Zealand from there for a ODI series. It takes a toll on the players to be in a country for more than a month. Breaking long tours up always helps,” said Patel.
He also added that the Indian board is estimated to earn nearly Rs 4000 crore from the ICC’s revenue share in the 2016-2023 cycle. According to the new revenue sharing model, the BCCI will be getting a 22 per cent share from the entire gross ICC revenue and a further 4 per cent more following the deduction of total expenses, administration cost and distribution cost.
Patel also insisted that the BCCI will not be sending its cricket team to the Asian Games once again whereas the likelihood of cricket becoming an Olympic sport was unlikely.
“We won’t have a team taking part in the Asian Games whereas most of the members weren’t really interested in the Olympics. That event is held in various parts of the world, and you can’t say whether the host country will have a venue and how the weather conditions will be,” the secretary pointed out.