West Indies’ FTP 2023-27 announced: “I’m worried lower ranked teams”: Chris Gayle Worried About Future of Test Cricket

The ICC released the 2023-27 FTP on Wednesday, in which the 12 Full Members play a total of 777 international matches – 173 Tests, 281 ODIs and 323 T20Is – compared to the 694 games in the current cycle.

Jamaican cricketer Chris Gayle spoke about the future of Test cricket in an interview with “Talk Sport” radio show a few months ago. He said the ICC should support the nations at the bottom of the rankings to play on a consistent basis for the future of the Test field.

“Test cricket is in a bit of trouble. I’m worried more about the lower-ranked teams. They are not getting full support. The game is such a business now and you have the lower-ranked teams getting one or two Test matches.”

Accordingly, in the period of 2023-2027, the leading teams England will play 43 Test matches, Australia will play 40 matches, India will play 38 matches, and Bangladesh will play 34 matches.  However, the lowest ranked teams like Ireland (12), Zimbabwe (20), Afghanistan (21), Sri Lanka (25) and West Indies (26) have very few games.

Accordingly, Chris Gayle had earlier (May) accused the ICC that the big nations at the top of the rankings were playing a large number of matches against each other.

“It’s always about England, India, and Australia. Those are the big teams who play four or five Test matches against each other, we don’t get that chance with the lower-ranked teams. It’s a struggle for us.”

The International Cricket Council (ICC) Men’s Future Tour Program (FTP) for West Indies for the period 2023-27 was announced yesterday and will begin with two Tests, three ODIs and five T20Is with a home series against India in July-August next year.

In January-February 2024, West Indies are scheduled to tour Australia for two Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. The team will then play limited-overs series against England, New Zealand, South Africa and Sri Lanka in addition to their Test matches as part of the two WTC matches of the FTP cycle.

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