Pakistan to face Sri Lanka in first series of World Test Championship

ICC announced in its FTP that first-ever edition of the competition will be played from July 2019 to April 2021

Pakistan to face Sri Lanka in first series of World Test Championship PHOTO: AFP

Pakistan cricket team will face Sri Lanka in their first series in the World Test Championship, according to the Future Tour Programme (FTP) announced by the International Cricket Council (ICC) from the year 2018 to 2023.

According to the finalised scheduled which was announced on Monday, nine top-ranked sides will participate in the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship, which will run from July 15 2019 to April 30 2021.

The sides will play six series in the two-year cycle on a home and away basis against opponents they have mutually selected. The two top-ranked sides will then progress to the June 2021 final to decide the World Test champions.

The Men in Green’s opening series in the World Test Championship is against Sri Lanka at home in October 2019.

The FTP also includes a 13-team ODI league, which will run from May 1 2020 to March 31 2022 and all the sides will play eight series over a two-year cycle on a home and away basis against mutually agreed opponents. Pakistan first ODI series in the league is against the Netherlands in the Netherlands in July 2020.

This league will serve as a qualification pathway for the ICC 2023 World Cup 2023, where India (as host) plus the seven highest-ranked sides in the ODI league as on 31 March 2022 will qualify directly for the. The bottom five sides will get a second chance to qualify through the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

ICC Chief Executive David Richardson congratulated the Members for their efforts in the preparation of the men’s Future Tours Programme:

“The agreement of this FTP means we have clarity, certainty and most importantly context around bilateral cricket over the next five years,” he said. “The World Test Championship will get underway next year with the ODI league kicking off in 2020 as part of the qualification towards the ICC 2023 World Cup. Bringing context to bilateral cricket is not a new challenge, but with the release of this FTP, our Members have found a genuine solution that gives fans around the world the chance to engage regularly with international cricket that has meaning and the possibility of a global title at the end.”

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chief Operating Officer Subhan Ahmad remarked: “The FTP provides certainty for each member to make their respective plans well in advance. This new FTP will provide more context to bilateral cricket which is so important to keep the fans engaged.”