ICL: Indian Cricket League

PCB fills in FTP gaps by lining up 38 more ODIs


In what they term as a major breakthrough, Pakistani cricket officials have managed to fill in the blanks in their Future Tour Programme (FTP) by lining up 38 international games against some of the world’s leading teams over the next few years.

A top Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official told ‘The News’ on Tuesday that after a series of meetings with leading cricket officials of various Test-playing nations and some extensive lobbying, the Board has fixed ample number of One-day Internationals (ODIs) against five of the top sides between 2008-2010.

The games are in addition to the Tests and ODIs Pakistan are scheduled to play under International Cricket Council’s FTP.“It is a major breakthrough,” Shafqat Naghmi, PCB’s Chief Operating Officer said in a telephonic interview from Kuala Lumpur.

“Our team had a slim international schedule over the next few years but we have managed to fill it up by finalising over three dozen matches against some of the world’s top teams,” he added.

Naghmi said that the matches have been arranged against South Africa, India, Sri Lanka, New Zealand and the West Indies. Pakistan were left making efforts to arrange for international games after realising that they were given a raw deal when the game’s top bosses finalised the five-year FTP in 2004.

“It was really a frustrating situation for us,” said Naghmi. “I mean our team had no international commitment after playing a series against India later this year for almost the next 10 months,” he stressed, referring to Pakistan’s home series against India in November-December this year.

Naghmi pointed out that after hosting India, Pakistan had to wait till November 2009 to play their next Test (against Australia in Australia). The PCB top brass had targeted an ICC moot that is under progress in Kuala Lumpur to discuss the next FTP to meet and convince other Board officials to help provide a shot in the arm to Pakistan’s below-par tour programme.

Before going to Kuala Lumpur, Naghmi and other Board officials visited India and Sri Lanka in a bid to fill in their FTP gaps. According to Naghmi, the Board has managed fruitful results. Apart from lining up new ODIs, Pakistan have also convinced old rivals India to revive a three-nation series that was earlier scrapped because of a hectic schedule. It has now been decided that Pakistan, India and hosts Bangladesh will clash in the tri-series in June ahead of the 2008 Asia Cup to be held in Pakistan later that month.

Naghmi said that New Zealand have agreed to send their team to Pakistan to play five One-day Internationals this September. Next June, Pakistan will play a tri-nation series in the Caribbean after which the West Indies will come here for a return series.

Pakistan have also tied up a home-and-away series against Sri Lanka and according to the plan they would visit the Pearl Island and will also host Mahela’s Jayawardene’s team for a one-day series next year.

South Africa will come for a five-match ODI series in Pakistan next year. However, Pakistan were unable to add any more Tests to their current FTP. Naghmi said that for most of the other Test-playing nations, the FTP is quite hectic and it is not possible to create any room for any additional Tests.

Source:Cricket News

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