Pakistan is set to play 121 international matches during a four-year period

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Pakistan is set to play 121 internationals during a four-year period starting May 2019, as per a new scheduling document discussed at a workshop in Singapore early December, a major cricket news website reported.

The new plan — which has an additional two Tests, five ODIs, and 10 T20Is — has almost 15 more commitments in the new Future Tours Programme (FTP), ESPNcricinfo reported.

Last week, the publication discussed a version of the FTP that was included in the workshop held on December 7 and 8. As of the end of that meeting, the updated FTP produced by the members had “minor adjustments”.

“The earlier FTP showed 104 internationals scheduled for Pakistan between May 2019 and May 2023,” ESPNcricinfo stated.

“The updated version has them playing 121 internationals — they have two Tests, five ODIs, and 10 T20Is more than in the earlier FTP.

Consequently, Pakistan is now on a fairly more equal footing with respect to Australia (123 matches), Bangladesh (124), South Africa (122), and New Zealand (119).

Nevertheless, it remains unclear as to who these additional commitments are arranged against.

The FTP’s final version will be put forward to the International Cricket Council’s (ICC) Board in February, next year. After that, the plan would require a vote at the body’s annual general meeting (AGM) in June.

According to the website, “the PCB has been eager to emphasise that its engagements in the new FTP will be about [the] quality of contest rather than quantity.

“Opponents have been classified on the basis of the value they provide to a broadcast deal — by the PCB’s working, 46% of their total home games in the next FTP will be against high-value opponents (Australia, South Africa, England and Bangladesh), 30% against mid-value opponents such as New Zealand and West Indies, and the remaining against low-value teams such as Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Ireland, and Afghanistan.

“The four-year FTP is built around two cycles of a two-year Test league, with nine teams in it.”

It is noteworthy that the Test league is scheduled to start with the new FTP in May 2019, while the ODI begins in 2020.

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