The near-final draft of the International Cricket Council Future Tours Programme (FTP) for 2023-27 cycle have emerged as the Indian Premier League (IPL) window is set to be extended. As reports suggest, England and Australia have been given space too for their T20 leagues - the Hundred and the Big Bash League (BBL)- respectively.
IPL 2022 was scheduled from 26 March to the 29 May and the next edition could be extended to the first week of June for the 2023-27 cycle. Additionally, England and Australia, who had played their franchise cricket alongside the international cricket, will also get a dedicated schedule for their premier white-ball events in the upcoming circuit.
ESPNcricinfo mentioned the decision to expand the franchise cricket in the international cricket circuit as an affirmation of the growing T20 leagues. The popular sports news website also reported that no international game will affect the IPL, and the Hundred.
A total of 60 matches was played between eight teams during the 2014-2021 IPL seasons while the cash-rich league was expanded to 74 matches between 10 teams in 2022. The number of matches per season can reach to 74 games for the 2023 and 2024 seasons each. The IPL 2025 and 2026 could witness a total of 84 matches while for the final year, a maximum of 94 matches are expected to be contested in 2027.
According to the new draft FTP, which is yet to be released officially, a three-week window across July and August is dedicated for the Hundred in England, while Cricket Australia is looking to keep the month of January clear of international matches but some Test cricket matches could be played alongside the BBL.
Apart from India, England, and Australia, the West Indies have made space for the Caribbean Premier League in August-September window. While Bangladesh Premier League could be played in January each year, it can clash with South Africa and UAE's franchise league.
The Pakistan Cricket Board could face difficulties in launching their franchise T20 league due to their packed timeline and the Islamic month of Ramzan. As a consequence, PSL could become the first league to clash with the IPL.
The ICC is expected to announce the final draft FTP after its Annual General Meeting (AGM) which is scheduled in Birmingham on July 25 and 26.