Greater pressure has been placed on an already creaking calendar by the expansion of the IPL to 12 weeks, while another month each year has been taken up by ICC global events.
January has been effectively cleared of its traditional men’s limited-overs fixtures, making space for more top-tier Australian players to take part in the Big Bash League. In 2027, Pat Cummins’ team will depart for India in late January for a Test series.
That manner of scheduling will please broadcasters including Foxtel, which holds rights to Australian series at home and away, but has shown increasing reluctance to purchase series against other countries, declining to do so for the 2021 Bangladesh tour.
An expansion of Test series against India from four Test matches to five was a key driver of the seven-year, $350 million broadcast deal recently signed with Disney Star.
Australia have Test tours by the West Indies in consecutive seasons, also hosting Pakistan in 2023-24, before India and England play five Tests each in 2024-25 and 2025-26.
The final home season of the FTP in 2026-27 will see the long-delayed inaugural Test match against Afghanistan, followed by three Tests against New Zealand and – after the tour of India – two against Bangladesh, the first Australian Test tour by the Tigers since 2003.
Among notable overseas tours, Australia will head to New Zealand for Tests (2024) for the first time since 2016, and to West Indies (2025) for the first time since 2015.
CA’s head of scheduling, Peter Roach, highlighted the preservation of Australia’s home window from November to February as a key point of the fixture, given increasing levels of jostling from other countries in the southern season.
“The increase to a reciprocal five Test Border-Gavaskar series is a significant milestone and will greatly enhance the enduring rivalry and respect that exists between the Australian and Indian men’s teams,” Roach said. “We recognise our responsibilities to the game globally and the positive impact we can have on emerging markets and feel this schedule also supports those goals.
“The historic tour of Pakistan earlier this year was a significant moment in Australian cricket, and we are committed to returning in the future through reciprocal white-ball series included in the men’s FTP.
“Importantly, most of our home content will remain in our traditional window for both men and women, including a largely uninterrupted international window for the WBBL and greater flexibility for Australian players to participate in the BBL.”