Performance and stature given relevance for home series

The BCCI think-tank, while deliberating the BCCI Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2019-23, has kept its focus on the "performance and stature" of the current international teams, thereby appealing to the broadcasters for the four-year home media rights from April 2018. 

According to the FTP (2019-23), India would play 13 internationals against Australia, 14 against England and 15 against South Africa.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

Those who have planned the BCCI’s Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2019-23 have been smart in giving meticulous attention to the "performance and stature" of the current international teams, thereby appealing to the broadcasters for the four-year home media rights starting April 2018.

Read: BCCI keen to modify FTP

With one eye on "performance and stature’’ assumption and another on the scheduling of home international season (from April 2019), the BCCI  positioned Australia, England and South Africa in Group `A’, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, West Indies and Bangladesh were clubbed in Group `B’ while Zimbabwe, Afghanistan and Ireland in Group`C’.  The BCCI has also classified Oct-Dec as the Primary Home Season (PHS) and Jan-March as the Secondary Home Season (SHS).

READ: Afghanistan to make Test debut in India

The BCCI members were informed about the developments at the Special General Meeting in New Delhi on Monday.

The four-year schedule was drawn under the premise of  hosting one team from Group `A’, two teams from Group `B’ and one team from Group `C’, for the first two seasons (2019-20, 2020-21) while playing host to one each from Group`A’, Group 'B’ and two from Group `C’ for seasons (2021-22 and 2022-23).

The BCCI’s FTP has also proposed that it will own the IPL window in April-May for four years (2020-2023) and also the Asia Cup and Tri-Series window in September.

READ: Afghanistan to make Test debut against India, but when?

The idea of protecting the PMS and SHS  was aimed at extending the home season during the festive time, since the companies advertise during that period - starting from October and ending in March.

The Star dilemma

Star India is paying Rs. 43 crore for each Test, ODI and Tweny20 international, but statements have come from the senior officials of the television company that shelling out such a huge sum for a Test match may not be a viable option again.

The broadcasting giant currently has the ICC media rights up to 2023 and the IPL media rights from 2018 to 2022; however, it is not known if it would bid for India's home media rights from April 2018.

The board's acting Secretary, Amitabh Choudhary, who is on the ICC Board, will take up the BCCI FTP at the ICC’s quarterly conference in February next year.

There is a marginal change in the  FTP for home internationals presented at the SGM (19 Tests, 35 ODIs, 27 Twenty20s) and the one circulated to the members before the SGM (19 Tests, 38 ODIs, 28 Twenty20s); the away internationals figures are (18 Tests, 29 ODIs, 26 Twenty20s) - all this works out to 154 international matches for the 2019-23 cycle.

It was announced by Choudhary on Monday that close to 52 per cent of the home internationals will be against top teams and according to the FTP (2019-23), India would play 13 internationals against Australia, 14 against England and 15 against South Africa.

READ: We requested BCCI to play the first Test, says ACB chief

A BCCI source said that the one-off Test against Afghanistan can happen only in the 2018-19 season.

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