New FTP eases Bangladesh concerns
Bangladesh are likely to play 64 Test matches in the period between October this year and December 2022, according to the latest version of the 2015-2023 FTP which has been seen by ESPNcricinfo. The list includes eight three-Test series against Zimbabwe and New Zealand. They are also likely to play 90-plus ODIs and 27 T20s in bilateral series, apart from various tri-series and ICC tournaments.
The BCB are quietly satisfied with the latest version of the FTP, though more series can be added after they sign the bilateral agreements in the next ICC Board meeting in October this year. When the deals are completed, it should assuage the Bangladesh cricketers who were worried about their Test future last January.
Bangladesh's maiden tour to India has been slated for August 2016 while India are likely to visit in 2015 and 2020. Australia could tour Bangladesh to play Tests in October 2015 and February 2020 while they are likely to host them in two Tests and three ODIs in August 2017. However, only England are not pencilled to host Bangladesh during this period although they are scheduled to tour Bangladesh four times. BCB president Nazmul Hasan had earlier in February confirmed many of these tours, having signed agreements with these three boards.
Among the three-Test tours, five will be at home, two in Zimbabwe and one in New Zealand. So far in their Test history, Bangladesh have played only two three-match Test series - against Pakistan in 2003 and Sri Lanka in 2007.
The first of these three-match series is to be held later this year when Bangladesh host Zimbabwe in October and November. In total, Bangladesh will play Zimbabwe in six such series but the highest number of series is against New Zealand - seven. Bangladesh will host New Zealand three times while they are scheduled to tour New Zealand in 2016-17, 2019, 2021 and 2022-23. The least number of series are against South Africa and Pakistan, with Bangladesh playing them twice each during this cycle.
Member nations have been told to sign their bilateral agreements by the next ICC Board meeting in October in order to firmly establish that FTP is both "binding and bankable".
Bangladesh have played 83 Tests so far, hosting slightly more than half of those.
Mohammad Isam is ESPNcricinfo's Bangladesh correspondent. @isam84