Islamabad [Pakistan], August 17 (ANI): The Pakistan Super League (PSL) is on course to becoming the first T20 League to clash with the Indian Premier League (IPL) in 2025, due to Pakistan's packed season at home in 2024-25.
As per ESPNCricinfo, the schedule crunch is because Pakistan is hosting its first major cricket tour in almost 30 years, the ICC Champions Trophy in February 2025. This forced the Pakistan Cricket Board to ink in a window for the tenth PSL season between March and May. IPL's window is more or less fixed and much longer. It starts in the first week of March every year and goes all the way till early June.
After not being able to host multi-nation cricket at home during three previous Future Tour Programmes (FTP) cycles since 2009 due to security issues, Pakistan has started to host top teams in the last three years and will host all full members except India in the 2023-27 FTP.
There are 27 Tests, 13 at home as a part of ICC World Test Championship cycles, 26 home ODIs out of 47 in total and 27 T20Is at home out of 56.
This heavy schedule means that there will be a clash of dates between PSL and IPL in 2025 and the 2026 PSL will end up taking place fewer than seven months later in December 2025-January 2026. The 12th season of PSL will mark the return of the league to its normal window of January-February.
"While finalising our Future Tours Programme 2023-2027 in a tight and densely-packed cricket calendar, we have given priority to context, quality, and player workload," ESPNCricinfo quoted PCB chief executive Faisal Hasnain as saying in a statement.
"We have also tried to find an appropriate balance across all the three formats so that these continue to co-exist meaningfully. I am sure that our cricket fans will be delighted to know that top-ranked and attractive sides such as Bangladesh, England, New Zealand, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies will visit Pakistan to compete in matches for the ICC World Test Championship."
"Additionally, Afghanistan, Australia, Ireland and Zimbabwe will also tour Pakistan for the white-ball matches, which means 10 of the 12 ICC Full Members will play cricket in Pakistan during the four-year period. This is exciting," he concluded.
Pakistan will also host two triangular series at home, a rarity nowadays. First will be with South Africa and New Zealand in February 2025 and later in 2026, another triangular series will follow featuring England and Sri Lanka.
"We are also mindful that our sides must be provided with the best preparation opportunities so that they perform strongly in ICC competitions. Accordingly, this has also been an integral part of our strategy around scheduling, as we have scheduled appropriate international matches in the lead-up to the ICC events," Hasnain said further.
"Furthermore, and in line with our vision for triangular ODI series to contribute in increasing excitement and attracting greater audiences, we have so far scheduled two tri-series in February 2025 and October/November 2026, involving New Zealand and South Africa, and England and Sri Lanka, respectively. This is also something for the fans to look forward to."
"The certainty and clarity around our home bilateral fixtures until 2027 provides us the platform to put together a robust commercial programme, so that we can optimise the exploitation of our commercial rights. This will enable us to hopefully increase our revenues and channel these back into the further development of our cricket, all across from our grassroots talent hunt to our international playing facilities."
The International Cricket Council on Wednesday released the Men's Future Tours Programme (FTP) 2023-27, confirming the international calendar for all Full Members across all three formats of the game.
In total, there will be 777 international matches - 173 Tests, 281 ODIs and 323 T20Is - in the 2023-2027 FTP cycle compared to the 694 in the current one.
India will be playing 27 ODIS matches before the 2023 ODI World Cup in India.
The Men in Blue will play 5 match Test series against England and Australia in the cycle. India will be playing 44 Tests, 63 ODIs and 76 T20Is from Aug 18, 2022 to February 2027. (ANI)