Pakistan to play Ireland again in next FTP

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Najam Sethi, clarifies that the two nations will only meet in the next Future Tours Programme (FTP), which gets effective from 2019.

Ireland's Kevin O'Brien arrives for a training session ahead of Ireland's inaugural Test match against Pakistan.   -  Twitter (Ireland Cricket)

For the last few days, there were reports that Pakistan could host Ireland later this year for a home series.

But on Friday — hours before Ireland plays it’s first-ever Test, against Pakistan at the Malahide in Dublin — Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) chairman, Najam Sethi, clarified that the two nations will only meet in the next Future Tours Programme (FTP), which gets effective from 2019.

“We are booked in various FTPs all the way through to next year. We are playing Australia, New Zealand and South Africa this winter followed by the Pakistan Super League (PSL),” Sethi told Sportstar from Dublin.

The seasoned administrator, however, added: “The new FTP that will become operative from 2019 has noted fixtures between Pakistan and Ireland.”

Read: Ireland-Pakistan Test revives World Cup memories

"The new FTP is not based on reciprocal matches but on set competition match ups. So we are not hosting Ireland as such," Sethi added.

However, there is a provision of a bilateral series if and when the two nations have a free slot. "The understanding is that the open spaces in our FTP are where we would schedule additional bilateral content. Therefore we can host Ireland if and when both have free slots at the same time in the next year or two," the PCB chief said.

After years of wait, Ireland steps into the longer format of the game with the one-off Test, and speaking to scribes at the Malahide earlier, Cricket Ireland’s chief executive, Warren Deutrom, had indicated that it is open to touring Pakistan. “We have seen West Indies’ recent tour which went well. We’ve also seen that some PSL matches were held in Lahore and Karachi and were incident-free.

"Before taking any decision we will definitely discuss the situation with both the ICC security and Pakistan counterparts, but I can see that in the near future, a tour to Pakistan is possible,” Deutrom added.

  Dugout videos