Sri Lanka Cricket release FTP for Men, 2018

The Championship will involve nine teams who would contest for the top spot playing three home and three away series

The International Cricket Council on Wednesday announced its five-year long Future Tour Programme when Bangladesh would play 44 Test matches along with number of one-day internationals and Twenty20 internationals.

The tournament will run from July 2019 to June 2021.

India's next couple of series in WTC will take place in New Zealand (two Tests) and Australia (four Tests) in 2020-2021 before they play England in a five-Test series at home.

"By bringing more relevance and context into test and ODI cricket we can farewell what used to be known as neutral games, and introduce interest into every fixture, no matter which side is playing", NZC chief executive David White said.

ICC chief executive David Richardson called it a "genuine solution that gives fans around the world the chance to engage regularly with worldwide cricket that has meaning and the possibility of a global title at the end". The two teams will now face each other at 2019 World Cup in England.

A parallel ODI series league will begin in 2020, leading into the 2023 World Cup - the top seven nations in the league will earn automatic berths for the showpiece tournament, with the remainder being compelled to play a qualifying tournament.

Each side will take part in as many as eight series over a two-year period, against mutually agreed opponents on a home-and-away basis.

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The nine top-ranked sides will participate in the inaugural edition, which will run from July 15, 2019 to April 30, 2021. Those two Tests will be part of 40, they play in this new FTP (including three that they've already played in Ireland and England).

Test stars will either be playing an ODI series against India, BBL or grade cricket in the lead-up to that first Test against Sri Lanka.

The structure of the men's FTP (2018-23) includes ICC Cricket World Cup - 2019 and 2023, ICC World T20 - 2020 and 2021, World Test Championship, Cycle 1 - 2019-2021 (final 2021), Cycle 2 - 2021-2023 (final 2023).

Keeping this view in mind, BCCI did not negotiate with the government to play against Pakistan during the ICC Test Championship.

The FTP, covering all men's worldwide cricket from 2018 to 2023, is the first to incorporate the new one-day global and Test structures, with the former providing automatic World Cup qualification for the top eight-ranked sides.

Explaining about the ODI league, ICC said that the league will be a qualification platform for the 2023 World Cup which is to be hosted by India.

"This new FTP will provide more context to bilateral cricket which is so important to keep the fans engaged".

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