Cricket Buzz: Indo-Pak Test series to be reduced to two in FTP
The number of Test face-offs between India and Pakistan in the upcoming Future Tours Programme (FTP) cycle is likely to be curtailed with the government of Pakistan deciding to strike off a few matches.
Pakistan is likely to play only two Test matches against India during their three home series in the FTP cycle. The number of matches between India and Pakistan were subject to government clearance, The Dawn reported.
While Pakistan will face one of the topmost ODI and Test teams of the world, Australia, during seven series in the tour, the number of matches against South Africa and England have been reduced to two and three respectively.
As per the report, Pakistan is scheduled to play a total of 77 Test matches until January 2023. The FTP will be binding only after bilateral agreements are signed by the member nations before the next ICC meeting.
- NEXT: Sodhi among six new players to get NZ central contract
Image: Cricket fans at an India-Pakistan match
Photographs: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images
Sodhi among six new players to get NZ central contract
New Zealand's search for stability at the top of the order looks set to continue after Peter Fulton and Hamish Rutherford were dropped from the list of players awarded central contracts by New Zealand Cricket on Thursday.
While both could still be included in squads in the next 12 months, the fact they had not been included in the 20-player list indicated NZC were preparing to seek alternative openers for the Test side.
New Zealand have struggled with a stable opening partnership for the better part of a decade, though Fulton and Rutherford hinted at potential against England last year when they put on 158 for the first wicket, with Rutherford scoring 171 on debut.
In the 11 Tests they have opened New Zealand's batting since, however, they have combined for a total of 539 runs for the first wicket at a modest average of 26.75.
In seven of the 20 innings, their partnership scored less than 10 runs, while they have passed 50 just four times.
Six new players were handed central contracts, with young pace bowlers Adam Milne and Matt Henry the most notable inclusions as the selectors look ahead to the World Cup, which New Zealand will co-host with Australia in early 2015.
Both Milne and Henry impressed earlier this year in limited overs matches, with the former reaching speeds in excess of 150 km per hour before they both suffered injuries.
Spinners Ish Sodhi and Mark Craig were also given central contracts after both impressed in Test cricket in the past year.
Contracted players: Corey Anderson, Trent Boult, Mark Craig, Martin Guptill, Matt Henry, Tom Latham, Mitchell McClenaghan, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Kyle Mills, Adam Milne, Colin Munro, Jimmy Neesham, Luke Ronchi, Ish Sodhi, Tim Southee, Ross Taylor, Neil Wagner, BJ Watling, Kane Williamson.
Image: Ish Sodhi of New Zealand
Photographs: Rob Jefferies/Getty Images