12BET India News: South Africa-Pakistan Test “monumental moment” for international cricket

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South Africa will play their first Test in Pakistan for 14 years this week, a match marked as “monumental moment” for the revival of international cricket in the country. Last month, South Africa’s cricket board confirmed its national team will be touring Pakistan to play two Tests and three T20 internationals. Karachi, Rawalpindi and Lahore are set to host South Africa between 26 January and 14 February 2021.

The last time the two teams met in Pakistan was in 2007 when South Africa beat the hosts 1-0 in a two-match Test series. The subsequent series in 2010 and 2013 were played in the United Arab Emirates. International cricket has returned to Pakistan in the past 15 months following a militant attack on the touring Sri Lankan cricket team bus in Lahore in 2009, killing six policemen and two civilians.

The visiting teams refused to tour the terror-hit country on security fears and it was only in the last six years that Pakistan hosted limited-over series before Test cricket was revived for the first time in a decade with the visit of Sri Lanka in December 2019. Pakistan Cricket Board chief executive Wasim Khan has confirmed tight security for this “monumental” event.

“These are very exciting times for fans and supporters,” said Khan. “I would say that it’s a monumental moment that South Africa is here after 14 years and everybody is looking forward to the matches.” South Africa, having won 15 of the 26 Tests between the two teams with four losses and seven draws, will face the new-look Pakistan with Babar Azam making his Test captaincy debut.

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Azam was a ball boy during South Africa’s last tour in 2007 and now facing a big challenge of bringing glory as he led the team in this historic Test, with an inexperienced 20-man squad with nine players yet to play a Test. Azam returns after missing the New Zealand tour with a fractured thumb. Their head coach will be Mark Boucher, who toured Pakistan as a player three times – 1997, 2003 and 2007.

Pakistan squad: Babar Azam (capt), Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Kamran Ghulam, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan.

South Africa squad: Quinton de Kock (capt), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon, Marco Jansen.

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