International cricket schedule for next five years released

The ICC has released the 2018-2023 International cricket schedule, and with it comes a raft of changes. Of course, these years will see the introduction of the World Test Championship, which kicks off in the middle of 2019 and runs through to April of 2021. The ODI League will see greater emphasis placed on 50-over matches, and will be contested between the 12 Test Playing Nations as well as the Netherlands.

The newbies

Ireland and Afghanistan will also see a lot more action with their new status as Full Test Playing Nations. Predominantly, these teams will participate in one-off Test matches rather than series, though Afghanistan will play a solitary two-test series against Zimbabwe in 2021. Each side will play 13 tests total, many of which will be against highly ranked opponents.

Ireland fans can look forward to a July 2019 test against England, a matchup against Sri Lanka in February 2022, and a June 2022 game against New Zealand, and matches against Bangladesh and the West Indies.

Afghanistan will not have the same diversity of competition, with the majority of their test matches coming against fellow newcomer Afghanistan, as well as Zimbabwe and West Indies. They will, however, have the opportunity to face the Australians on two occasions, in Australia in November 2021 and at home the following September.

These two sides will also have the chance to test themselves in the shorter format of the game, though Ireland have been given more games than Afghanistan. Ireland will play 64 ODI’s and 65 T20I’s (the third most of all teams) during this five year period, while Afghanistan will play 51 and 45 respectively.

The old hands

Of the rest of the major cricketing nations, it will be India facing the heaviest load, playing 203 total matches over this span. Surprisingly, the next most matches will be played by the West Indies, though this is largely due to their heavy short form schedule; they will play 68 T20I’s (second to only India, who play 69), and 75 ODI’s (again, second to only India).

It will be England playing the most cricket in its traditional form. They will play 59 test matches between 2018 and 2023, comfortably more than any of their opponents. India is next with 51 tests, followed by Australia with 47.

Ten of the tests played by England and India, the two teams with the heaviest Test match schedule, will be played in succession. They will play a five-test series against one another in India in early 2021, and will follow that up with another five-test series in the middle of that same year, back in England.

Of the major Test playing nations, South Africa and New Zealand will play the least five-day games, with each playing 38 test matches. Pakistan are the next lowest with 40, followed by Sri Lanka and the West Indies with 43, and Bangladesh with 44.

Zimbabwe will continue to find themselves well below the major cricketing nations in terms of their schedule, but will still play more cricket than the likes of Ireland and Afghanistan. They will play 21 tests in total, though their schedule in terms of the shorter formats more closely mirrors the rest of their competition. In total, they will play 59 ODI’s and 50 T20I’s during this time.

For a straightforward run down of who plays how much of each format, check out the numbers below.

Test Matches

England: 59       

India: 51

Australia: 47

Bangladesh: 44

Sri Lanka: 43

West Indies: 43

Pakistan: 40

New Zealand: 38

South Africa: 38

Zimbabwe: 21

Afghanistan: 13

Ireland: 13

One Day International’s

India: 83

West Indies: 75

Sri Lanka: 71

Australia: 68

South Africa: 66

England: 66

Ireland: 64

New Zealand: 62

Pakistan: 61

Zimbabwe: 59

Bangladesh: 59

Afghanistan: 51

Netherlands: 24

T20 International’s

India: 69

West Indies: 68

Ireland: 65

Pakistan: 63

Australia: 59

New Zealand: 59

Bangladesh: 57

South Africa: 56

Zimbabwe: 50

England: 50

Sri Lanka: 46

Afghanistan: 45

Netherlands: 9