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IPL to become a bilateral-free window, no international cricket during the season

The Indian board has put in an effort to ensure that all member boards of the ICC keep their respective cricketers are free of all bilateral commitments.

Mitchell Johnson of Mumbai Indians IPL
Mumbai Indians, IPL. (Photo: Dhananjay TK/IANS)

In what might be a possible indication of how the cricket landscape is going to change in the coming years, the Indian Premier League (IPL) – the sport’s hottest property globally, is now expected to become a bilateral-free window during the months of April and May, post 2019.

In a recent ICC meeting at Singapore, discussions of a detailed presentation on the Future Tour Program (FTP) took place. Each member board of the parent body put forward an agenda on the 2-day meeting which took place on December 7 and 8. However, the BCCI presented a revised schedule.

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According to the revised FTP put forth by the Indian board, an effort has been made to restructure India’s home season. The Indian team will not play away from home between October and November, February and March, in the next rights cycle from 2019 to 2023. They are scheduled to tour England and Australia in 2018, post the IPL’s 11th edition.

Sources privy to the development were quoted by Cricbuzz as saying, “The revised FTP suggests one simple formula. India will not play meaningless cricket anymore. Each member board is committed to six bilateral arrangements in two years. But the ICC cannot dictate the context in the content.”

ECB yet to confirm

The Indian board has put in an effort to ensure that all member boards of the ICC keep their respective cricketers are free of all bilateral commitments, thus obliging the IPL with a thorough participation. Only the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) is yet to commit to the two-month window, which India believes will come through soon.

India has a lot to look forward to between 2020 and 2023. The BCCI will host an ICC Champions Trophy in 2021 and the ICC 50-over World Cup in 2023 and a windfall can be expected considering India’s demand for a hike in hosting fees.

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