India will host newly promoted Afghanistan for their first-ever Test match in 2019-2020.
Confirming the news, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) acting secretary Amitabh Chaudhary said they had decided to host Afghans’ first-ever Test match considering the historic relationship between the two sides.
“Afghans were scheduled to play their first Test in 2019 versus Australia but considering the historic relationship between India and Afghanistan, we decided to host their first Test,” Chaudhary said.
Ireland and Afghanistan were given Test status earlier this year in June to become the 11th and 12th Test nations.
The decision was taken in BCCI’s Special General Meeting (SGM) held in the national capital on Monday.
Meanwhile, Chaudhary also hinted about a possibility of a series between India and Pakistan.
He said that if the Centre gives a nod, then the bilateral series between two-arch rivals can be possible.
“If the government agrees, we will make space for India-Pakistan bilateral series,” he said.
In 2014, both – the BCCI and the Pankistan Cricket Board (PCB) – signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) which stated the two arch-rivals would play six bilateral series between 2015 and 2023.
According to the 2014 agreement, India was scheduled to play six series against Pakistan – four of them were going to be Pakistan’s home series.
While the BCCI has repeatedly snubbed Pakistan’s request for resumption of ties, the PCB wants its Indian counterpart to honour its commitment under the MoU signed, which is subjected to clearance from the Government of India.
Pakistan was expected to generate bulk of revenue in these eight years from hosting India but since BCCI denied playing the series in wake of tension between the two countries, the PCB suffered huge financial losses due to it.