South Africa will tour Pakistan next month for the first time in 14 years. The team will play two tests and three Twenty20 Internationals, officials confirmed on Wednesday.
The five-day matches form part of the ICC Test Championship. They will be staged in Karachi (January 26-30) and Rawalpindi (February 4-8). Meanwhile, T20 fixtures will be held at the same venues and Lahore, ending on February 14.
International cricket has returned to Pakistan in the past 15 months. A militant attack on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore in 2009 prevented many teams to tour the country. The attack had killed six policemen and two civilians.
The country has hosted Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, and Zimbabwe since September 2019. While England recently announced a short two-match 20-over series in October next year. It will build-up to the T20 World Cup in India.
“It’s pleasing to see so many countries making a return to Pakistan – a proud, cricket-loving nation,” said South Africa’s director of cricket, Graeme Smith.
“I would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the hospitality and transparency they showed our security contingent when they traveled over there a few weeks ago.”
“The report on their findings and recommendations gives us confidence as an organisation that all of our team’s security, playing and accommodation needs will be met, and that the wellbeing of the team will be the top priority.”
Pakistan captain Babar Azam is thrilled to play at home
Pakistan captain Babar Azam said it will be a thrill playing at home. He said the tour will also be a chance for his side to test their progress across the two formats.
“I am delighted that South Africa have confirmed their tour to Pakistan. I look forward to captaining my country for the first time in a home Test,” Azam said in a media release from the PCB.
“Looking at the calendar of international cricket in 2021. I am pleased we are playing more against the sides which are ranked above us.
“This is critical to not only our learning and development but also an opportunity to improve our rankings across all formats.”
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