While Allardice has not disclosed details about the FTP, ESPNcricinfo has learned that teams will primarily play three-match ODI series, which will be part of the Women’s Championships leading to qualification for the 2025 ODI World Cup. possibly, clubbed a five-match T20I series to round out ODI tours. Teams can also look forward to preparatory matches ahead of the global tournaments.
“The FTP for women is being published,” said Allardice from Birmingham, where the ICC’s annual conference ended on Tuesday. “It’s the first time we have a long-term plan for women’s TV shows that can give broadcasters and fans certainty about who’s playing who and at what time of year.
“It is structured around the ICC Women’s Championships through 2022-25 with a build-up to the next World Cup to be held in India.”
Women’s cricket players and supporters have long demanded more matches and regularity in the schedule. But with a lack of support from broadcasters in the past, cricket boards have not always been receptive.
With a plethora of talent available, the women’s game is also branching out into T20 leagues. Australia’s Women’s Big Bash (WBBL) led the way with 59 games per season – 56 league games followed by two semi-finals and the final. The Kia Super League, which started in England in 2016, had four very successful seasons before giving way to the Hundred in 2021.
Allardice said some of the female cricket captains, whom he met in Birmingham on Tuesday during an ICC-hosted panel discussion, said they were positive about the future of the sport. “The players commented that their schedules were definitely a lot busier than they were a few years ago. As you’ll see several domestic (T20) leagues getting stronger in the women’s game as well, you’ll find a very, very solid cricket calendar for the international women’s teams the coming years.”
Despite all the growth in limited-player cricket, women’s tests remain an “optional” product, according to a CEO from a Full Member country who sits on the chief executives committee of the ICC, which is responsible for devising the FTP.
With input from S Sudarshananwho is a sub editor at ESPNcricinfo