South African cricket team is coming to Pakistan after more than 13 years since they last tour the Asian country back then in 2007 when the visitors beat Pakistan in both the Test and ODI series.
See also: India vs Australia Test Series 2020-21
South Africa is one of the initial teams that is scheduled to tour Pakistan in their redemption of the international cricket. Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies, Bangladesh, and ICC World XI are the other teams that have visited Pakistan earlier, helping the fellow cricketing nation in getting back to the normal since 2009.
South Africa tour of Pakistan 2021
South Africa and Pakistan are scheduled to play two Test matches and three T20I matches in their month-long trip. The team is expected to arrive in Pakistan on the 16th of January and after a month-long stay, they are due to play their last match on the 14th of February. After the quarantine, the two teams will first play the Test series which will be followed by the T20I series.
Sri Lanka and Bangladesh are the other two teams that have visited Pakistan earlier to play the Test matches that are part of the World Test Championship. Sri Lanka visited in 2019 while Bangladesh toured their neighbors in 2020 and are yet to complete their two-match series, only one match was played and the second match was postponed because of the Covid-19. Pakistan are yet to lose a WTC match in their own backyard.
What the senior men say?
Zakir Khan, the PCB director said in the statement that, “South Africa confirming a tour to Pakistan and playing matches at the three major centers is a 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.”
From the South African end, the cricket South Africa director, Graeme Smith said, “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.”
“I would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the hospitality and transparency they showed our security contingent when they travelled over there a few weeks ago. The report on their findings and recommendations gives us confidence as an organization 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. We look forward to embarking on this historical tour.”
Graeme Smith was the then captain of the South African cricket team when they last toured Pakistan in 2007.
Faf du Plessis, the former South African captain, has also spoken on the event. He was part of the squad of ICC World XI that visited Pakistan in 2017 and earlier this year he came to the country for his one match for Peshawar Zalmi.
Du Plessis said, “I was only there for a short time. Flew in, spent three days in the hotel room, played one T20 and flew back so I didn’t do much sightseeing in Pakistan. But, from a security point of view, they pull out all the stops. From shutting down every single road, to armored vehicles, bulletproof buses, the army on the streets, snipers on the roof, and helicopters in the air. I think it’s only a matter of time before teams are traveling there.”
South Africa and Pakistan are scheduled to play two Test matches and three T20I matches in their tour. The fixtures are as;
- 1st Test Match: 26-30 January 2021, National Stadium, Karachi
- 2nd Test Match: 4-8 February 2021, Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi
- 1st T20I Match: 11 February 2021, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
- 2nd T20I Match: 13 February 2021, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore
- 3rd T20I Match: 14 February 2021, Gaddafi Stadium, Lahore