Wednesday Dec 09, 2020
LAHORE: The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) confirmed on Wednesday that the South Africa team will tour Pakistan in January after 14 years to play three T20Is and two Test matches.
Last time the South African team toured Pakistan was in 2007 when the Proteas won the Karachi Test by 160 runs to clinch the series 1-0.
The subsequent series in 2010 and 2013 were played in the United Arab Emirates.
As per the PCB, South Africa will arrive in Karachi on January 16 of next year and will play the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi from January 26-30.
The teams will then travel to Rawalpindi for the second Test that will be played from February 4-8.
After the Test series, the T20 series will be played at Lahore's Gaddafi Stadium where the teams will play three T20Is from February 11-14.
"Upon arrival in Karachi and in the lead up to the first Test, South Africa will observe an isolation period following which they will hold training sessions and play intra-squad practice matches," said the PCB in a statement.
“South Africa confirming a tour to Pakistan and playing matches at the three major centres is a fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its fans," PCB Director International Cricket Zakir Khan was quoted in the press release.
The PCB official noted that South African cricketers and their board have a "special bonding" with the country as a number of their star players visited Lahore with the ICC World XI in 2017 and the Pakistan Super League.
“2021 promises to be a bumper and most exciting year for Pakistan cricket fans after a very long time. After South Africa, we are scheduled to host New Zealand, England and the West Indies, while our away series are against South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Afghanistan and the West Indies," said Zakir.
The PCB official noted that the home series against South Africa "will complete the process for full resumption and restoration of international cricket in Pakistan".
Cricket South Africa's Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said he was pleased to see "so many countries" opting to tour to Pakistan.
“As someone who has toured the country on more than one occasion back in my playing days, I know how much passion the people of Pakistan have for the game as well as the love and support that the Proteas enjoy there as a team," said the former skipper of the South African team.
Smith also thanked the PCB for the "hospitality and transparency" when the South African board's security team visited the country.
Pakistan captain Babar Azam said he was delighted that the South Africa team confirmed their tour to Pakistan.
Babar said he looks "forward to captaining" Pakistan for the first time in a home Test.
“Looking at the calendar of international cricket in 2021, I am pleased we are playing more against the sides which are ranked above us," said the skipper. He noted that playing against better sides was "critical" not just for their "learning and development", but also an "opportunity" to improve the team's rankings across all formats.
“With the amount of cricket that is lined up in 2021, I am excited that a number of promising and budding cricketers will get chances to break into the national side and cement their places,” said Babar.