Hong Kong, June 26: Even as the political rapport continues to remain strained, a thawing of cricketing relations between India and Pakistan might just be on the cards. According to a draft of the Future Tour Programme (FTP) for 2012 tro 2020, the Pakistani team is scheduled to tour India in March-April 2013. However, the nitty-grtties of the visit insofar as the number of games and the venes for the same are yet to finalised, which is likely to happen at the ICC's annual conference in Hong Kong next week.
The FTP specifies that England are to play the most number of Tests at 99 over the 8-year period, while Australia will play 92 and India, 90. Sri Lanka and South Africa have been relegated to the next level with 74 and 72 Tests scheduled respectively, followed by New Zealand and the West Indies at 66 Tests apiece and Pakistan, 65, while Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will play 42 and 41 such encounters. However, these are only tentative numbers as of yet.
The FTP itinerary will most likely be revised to leave space for the Champions League Twenty20 as well as a window for the Indian Premier League (IPL) each year, so that player from most nations get to participate in the two tournaments.
In the meantime, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe will most probably not be accorded the privilege to tour India for either Tests or ODIs till 2020, while England too is not scheduled to host either country.
There are a couple of five-Test series planned: the Ashes, and India's tours of England in 2014 and 2018. West Indies and Sri Lanka, however, have nothing more than three-Test series, while Bangladesh and Zimbabwe are limited to two.
The one-day internationals are more evenly distributed. India will play the most with 166, 89 of which will be overseas. Zimbabwe have the lightest schedule with,64, of which 37 are at home. All other countries will play between 100 and 160 games. The Twenty20 format has the fewest games, with most teams scheduled to play between 30 and 55 matches over the eight-year programme. Zimbabwe and Bangladesh, however, have just 11 each.