ICC Chief Executive Dave Richarson has confirmed over a press meet that there will be no India - Pakistan matches in the first phase of the World Test Championship.
“With the case of India and Pakistan, we have been a little bit pragmatic. It has been decided that they will not play each other in the first two-year cycle,” said Richardson, at a media conference after a series of ICC meetings that began here on Sunday and ended on Thursday.
“It was difficult in the case of the Tests league in particular. While you have a situation of teams wanting to play five-Test series, trying to fit everyone playing everyone in a two-year period is not that easy. Consideration was given to extending it to three years but maintaining interest then becomes difficult,” said Richardson, explaining how the format was arrived at.
“The devil, as they say, lies in the details and there were fears as to which fixtures would comprise the competition. All those fears have been put to rest. The fixtures will be out soon,” he said.
The new Future Tours Programme (FTP), therefore, is unlikely to accommodate series between the countries. Pakistan have taken the matter of not playing India, apart from ICC competitions, to the dispute resolution committee of the ICC claiming a breach in contract. The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) have claimed $70m in damages from India. It is something that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is contending.
“I think there is certainly a common desire…. it would be great if India and Pakistan play each other apart from ICC events and specifically in bilateral series but, unfortunately, it is an issue that is beyond our area of influence. Even the BCCI, I am sure, cannot simply decide themselves whether a series should be played and similarly in Pakistan. So it is more complicated than that. We will not let up in our efforts but it is going to take a lot more than two boards agreeing,” said Richardson.