Test giants India and Australia will engage in five Tests instead of four from the next cycle of the Future Tours Programme (FTP).
According to Cricbuzz, the proposed bilateral engagement, which is played in the form of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy, will start in the 2024 season, when India are scheduled to visit Australia. Though, the 2023 home series in India, which is scheduled to be played in February-March, will remain a four-Test contest.
Notably, most bilateral Test series contain a maximum of four Test matches. Though, there are some exceptions, such as The Ashes – the old-school rivalry between England and Australia that comprises five Tests. Apart from the Ashes, England and India are also involved in a five-Test series, both home and away.
Now, the Border-Gavaskar series will now follow the pattern. However, India and Australia have been involved in a five-Test series in the past. India had hosted the Aussies for five Tests in 1959, with the visitors winning the series 2-1. Then, 10 years later, both sides in 1979-80 got involved in a six-match Test battle where the Aussies won the series 3-1. After that, India toured Australia in 1991-92, where both teams played five Tests, and the hosts had won the series 4-0.
“It is a bonus for Australia, which is due to begin serious negotiations on another broadcast deal. 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 every four years will add significantly to broadcast revenues,” The Australian had reported recently.