India-Australia Border Gavaskar Trophy to be expanded to five test matches in next FTP cycle: The iconic Border Gavaskar Trophy is reported to have five Test matches from the next Future Tour Programme (FTP) Cycle, which will come into effect after the World Test Championship 2023.
The expanded five test matches series will be conducted on an alternate basis, starting in 2024 when India visits Australia.
Notably, India’s home test series against Australia, next year, won’t be expanded and will run as per the chalked-out schedule.
“I think it’s a great initiative as it’s the closest contest to an Ashes series for the Australian team,” said former Australia captain Steve Waugh.
The Border Gavaskar Trophy (BGT) 2020-21 came very close to the iconic Ashes that is held between Australia and England. The historic series in 2020-21 set the tone for years to come as the epic rivalry between India and Australia has been ignited with the former defeating the latter in their own backyard twice.
Also, the addition of one more test match to the basket will boost the overall revenue for both the parties involved.
“It is a bonus for Australia, which is due to begin serious negotiations on another broadcast deal,” The Australian recently reported giving a financial dimension to the expansion. “It is believed the four Tests were worth $400m to Cricket Australia in the most recent broadcast deal – which was part of the reason the thought of the visitors going home midway through the 2020-21 season was so alarming. An extra Test match against India ever four years will add significantly to broadcast revenues.”
The exact schedule and bilateral fixtures will be revealed once the next FTP is rolled out by the concerned cricket boards.
Australia will tour India in 2023 for a four-match Test series which will be part of the ICC World Test Championship qualification 2023. Both India and Australia will require winning points from this series to confirm their place in the finals of the WTC 2023.
India, having already lost the rescheduled fifth test match against England, must win all its remaining test matches to safely sneak to the top two rankings of WTC.