Ireland and Afghanistan are finalized their Future Tours Programme (FTP) on Tuesday, and according to the new schedule, both nations are set to play a combined total of 29 Tests during the time period of 2019 to 2023. With the latest development, Ireland will play 16 Tests, while Afghanistan are scheduled to play 13 Test in a calendar year. Although, the sports governing body ICC is yet to approve the new FTP, it is learned that it will get a final approval at the ICC annual conference in June 2018.
Ireland and Afghanistan’s wish to play Test cricket is already on the verge of fulfillment, as both countries, who have granted Test membership by ICC in June this year, have already picked opponents for their maiden Tests, as Ireland will host Pakistan in May 2018 in Malahide, while Afghanistan will be travelling to India next year for matches whether be it One Day or T20 International.
According to a report in Espncricinfo, Ireland are scheduled to play a one-off Test against Australia (2019), Sri Lanka (2020), England (2021) and then host New Zealand and South Africa in 2022. In addition, Ireland will face Afghanistan (5 Tests), Zimbabwe (4 Tests) and Bangladesh (2 Tests).
The roster of Ireland is somewhat rich in comparison to Afghanistan because they will play Test matches with half the top-nine countries. Although, both countries will play the almost equal number of Tests at home and away, as Ireland is scheduled to play seven home Tests and nine away, while Afghanistan will play seven Tests at home and six away.
On the other hand, at the moment, Afghanistan will play the only top team Australia a one-off Test in 2020 and 2022, as per the new FTP, while other teams will be - Ireland (5 Tests), Zimbabwe (4 Tests), Bangladesh (1 Test) and West Indies (1 Test).