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India to host Afghanistan for first-ever Test

India to host Afghanistan for first-ever Test

India have made a decision to host Afghanistan for their first debut Test match in 2019-20 after they were awarded Test status by International Cricket Council in June earlier this year.

"Also, it makes more sense to play Test matches against them and T20Is and ODIs against the B-tier teams as that is also a move aimed at making the games more competitive", a senior official told CricketNext.

The two-day warm-up game that India were scheduled to play in South Africa has been cancelled, Cricket South Africa announced today.

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Afghanistan and Ireland were awarded Test status in June this year.

The Indian team management's preoccupation with acclimatising the players to South African conditions even before they set foot in the country has been such that "lively green tops" were deemed the need of the hour through the Sri Lanka Test series at home. With telecast rights for worldwide matches of Team India up for sale next year, the governing body will be making a huge sum of money (reportedly close to Rs 10,000 crore) if the SGM approves the new FTP, which is packed with T20Is.

With their maiden Test in India, Afghanistan will officially become the 12th worldwide side to play a Test; only if Ireland does not play their maiden Test before them. Ireland will host Pakistan in their inaugural Test in May next year. According to the current Future Tours Programme (FTP) plan from 2015 to 2019, Virat Kohli's men play for 390 days barring the ICC tournaments like the World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and World T20. Zimbabwe joined in 1992 and Bangladesh became the most recent member in 2000.