India to host Afghanistan's first-ever Test match: BCCI

ANI | Updated: Dec 11, 2017 18:35 IST

New Delhi [India], Dec11 (ANI): India will host newly-promoted Afghanistan for their first-ever Test match in 2019-2020.

Confirming the news, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said they had decided to host Afghans' first-ever Test match considering the historic relationship between the two sides.

"Afghans were scheduled to play their first Test in 2019 versus Australia but considering the historic relationship between India and Afghanistan, we decided to host their first Test," Chaudhary said.

Ireland and Afghanistan were given Test status earlier this year in June to become the 11th and 12th Test nations.

The decision was taken in BCCI's Special General Meeting (SGM) held in the national capital today.

Meanwhile, Chaudhary also hinted about a possibility of a series between India and Pakistan.

He said that if the Centre gives a nod, then the bilateral series between two-arch rivals can be possible.

"If the government agrees, we will make space for India-Pakistan bilateral series," he said.

In 2014, both - the BCCI and the Pankistan Cricket Board (PCB) - signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which stated the two arch-rivals would play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.

According to the 2014 agreement, India was scheduled to play six series against Pakistan - four of them were going to be Pakistan's home series.

While the BCCI has repeatedly snubbed Pakistan's request for resumption of ties, the PCB wants its Indian counterpart to honour its commitment under the MoU signed, which is subjected to clearance from the Government of India.

Pakistan was expected to generate bulk of revenue in these eight years from hosting India but since BCCI denied playing the series in wake of tension between the two countries, the PCB suffered huge financial losses due to it.

Meanwhile, according to the new Future Tours Programme, India will be hosting 81 matches across three formats of the game from 2019-2023, which is 30 more than the current programme.

However, the country's cricket board said that the number of playing days per year for the ever-busy cricketers would reduce.

The new FTP cycle at home will include high-profile series against England, South Africa and Australia.

Another major decision taken by the BCCI during the SGM was to revoke its long-standing ban on the Rajasthan Cricket Association (RCA), provided former IPL czar Lalit Modi stays away from its functioning.

The RCA was suspended by the BCCI in May 2014 when former Indian Premier League (IPL) commissioner Lalit Modi was re-elected as the president.

The elections were held again under the supervision of the High Court and Congress leader CP Joshi was declared the president in June this year, defeating Modi's son Ruchir.

Since its suspension in 2014, RCA's cricket affairs were being looked after by the BCCI. Consequently, the RCA had filed a suit against its suspension by BCCI, to which the board had asked the association to withdraw all pending cases and to not involve the cricket board in any case.

Meanwhile, no international cricket match has been held in Rajasthan since then and even the IPL matches were shifted out of Jaipur, which is the home of Rajasthan Royals.

The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) has already dissolved the adhoc committee that was constituted to run the affairs in Rajasthan cricket. This paved the way for revoking the ban. (ANI)