The Indian team could tour Australia twice in the next Future Tours Programme (FTP) cycle from 2024-2032, with the number of Tests per series increased from the existing four to five.
According to a report in the Age, Cricket Australia (CA) has “recently informed a range of broadcasters, both domestic and international, of the fact that it has secured two full Test tours by each of India and England over the next FTP, with India’s tours increased from four to five-match series.”
The last two Test tours of Australia, which comprised four matches in each series, were won by India, triumphs that went down in history as two of their greatest.
The current ICC FTP, running from 2018 to 2023, ends with the men’s 50-over ICC World Cup, to be played in India in October-November next year.
The full FTP is likely to be formally announced later this month, around the ICC’s annual meeting in Birmingham on July 25 and 26.
India has always been a huge draw for Australian crowds more so in recent years, with the last four-match series Down Under giving the financially struggling CA a major boost with expected revenue of 300 million Australian dollars.
“Seasons without Test-match visits by England or India generally mean a reduction in crowds and broadcast audiences – part of the reason why CA itself works on a multi-year financial model to balance fluctuations in the international schedule,” said the report in the leading Australian daily.
It did not come as a surprise when CA, at the end of the rubber, expressed gratitude to the BCCI for the “sacrifices” it made to ensure the smooth conduct of what proved to be an epic contest.
A second-string Indian team, led admirably by Ajinkya Rahane, braved all odds to defeat a full-strength Australia side by three wickets at “fortress” Gabba to win the series 2-1 and retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
CA acknowledged the role played by the Sourav Ganguly-led BCCI in successfully completing the tour amid the COVID-19 pandemic.