Earlier this week, South Africa’s cricket board confirmed its national team will be touring Pakistan early next year, to the first time in 14 years, 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, marking the first time South Africa are touring Pakistan since 2007.
“The tour is scheduled to run from 26 January to 14 February 2021, with the team arriving in Karachi on 16 January. They will go into a period of quarantine before commencing with training and inter-squad practice matches,” Cricket South Africa said in a statement. The first Test will be played from January 26 and the second from February 4, while the three-match T20 series will follow on February 11, 13 and 14.
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.
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“It’s pleasing to see so many countries making a return to Pakistan – a proud, cricket-loving nation. Cricket South Africa is delighted to be counted among them,” CSA Director Graeme Smith said in a statement. South Africa will become the fourth country to tour Pakistan in the last 15 months after Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
“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,” Smith added. Smith also thanked the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for their “hospitality and transparency” during CSA’s travel a few weeks ago.
Meanwhile, PCB Director, Zakir Khan commented: “South Africa confirming a tour to Pakistan and playing matches at the three major centres is fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its fans. South Africa is one of the most popular sides in Pakistan even though they last played here in 2007, but the fans have been following their performances closely and now look forward to welcoming them.
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