FTP Opportunities discussion...
From now (Jan 2014 till the end of 2019) the FTP has us listed as playing 36 Tests in 6 years which is exactly 6 tests per year. Not bad, but ideally we should look to be playing 7-8 a year.
However, 6 of those Tests are against Pakistan - 4 home, 2 "away". Now, the BCB does not have good relations with the PCB, so it is possible that Pakistan may refuse to play us. That bring us to just 30 games, or 5 Tests/year. Hopefully PCB can be convinced to playing us for the 4 home Tests. I don't believe we should tour Pakistan no matter how cricket-starved we may be, unless and until its safe for at least some of the top sides to tour there. If we can persuade/insist on being hosted in the UAE for the remaining 2 matches that would be great.
The good thing is that there are gaps in the FTP, which a shrewd BCB could use to get us a few extra Tests.
0) We have started to get competitive in Test cricket. With a young and stable batting core we can only get better over the next 10 years. We can start to push for 3 match series at home against the bottom half (ZIM/WI/NZ/SL). We also have enough venues now and don't have to rely on Dhaka/Chittagong.
1) We host ZIM 3 times over the next 6 years. If we make a couple of them 3 test series, we can get 2 extra Tests. Surprisingly, we don't tour them even once! ZIM have a wide open 2019 home season with no fixtures scheduled. We could slide in an extra 2 Tests here. Thats a total of 4 extra Tests.
2) In 2018 we host SL for just 3 ODIs. That can easily be made into a 2 or 3 Test series.
So even if all the Pakistan matches get cancelled, we can gain them back, with ease if the BCB cares. If the Pakistan matches go on as scheduled, then we can have about between 42-43 Tests in 6 years, which is 7 a year.
3) We host WI and NZ twice. Each of those can be made 3 Test series. We also go away to WI and NZ three times. Potential for 2-5 extra matches.
That brings us to a potential 44-48 Tests in 6 years. Thats an extra of 8-12 Tests. Assuming the BCB is inept, sponsors and broadcasting rights don't pan out, other teams refuse due to crowded schedules, ZIM cancells tours due to financial inability, lets half the potential extras leaving us with 4-6. Still not bad, because that is 1 game a year, taking us to at least 6 matches per year.
Additionally, when the next FTP cycle comes out, we should be competitive enough to demand and receive more matches. We have gotten few matches in the current FTP because we sucked. We had more matches in the initial FTP because we had just gotten Test status and no one knew how bad we were. India, Australia, England, will most likely continue to ignore us as a "small market" team (like SL). But with the other small market teams, we should be able to get more games. Additionally it is likely that Ireland will get Test status in 2020 (cricket Ireland objective) and Afghanistan at the rate they are improving could get it as well. That gives us opportunities for even more matches. We should look at 8-10 Tests per year from the 2020-onwards FTP.
The best thing is all these extra matches can come without having to "dilute" the game of the elite self-proclaimed lords of cricket India/England/Australia.
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