Pakistan are all set to welcome the South African cricket team in their country for the first time since 2007 after Cricket South Africa announced their schedule for the tour to Pakistan. In an official statement by Cricket South Africa, it said the Proteas will play two Tests and three Twenty20 Internationals in January and February 2021. Cricket South Africa’s Director of Cricket Graeme Smith said, “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. 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.”
The two-Test series between Pakistan and South Africa will be played in Karachi and Rawalpindi. The first Test will be played from January 26 to 30 while the 2nd Test will be from February 4 to February 8. The three-match Twenty20 International series will be played in Lahore. The two Tests will be part of the ICC World Test Championship while the three-match Twenty20 International series will be the first time South Africa play the shortest format of the game in Pakistan.
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. 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. In that series, Inzamam-ul-Haq bowed out of international cricket after he was stumped for three runs as he missed the chance to overhaul Javed Miandad’s record and become Pakistan’s highest run-getter. South Africa will become the fourth country to tour Pakistan in the last 15 months after Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe.
The year 2021 promises to be a action-packed year for Pakistan both at home and away. Pakistan are scheduled to host New Zealand, England and the West Indies, while their away series are against South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Afghanistan and the West Indies.
Zakir Khan, PCB Director International said, “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. 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. Cricket South Africa and its players have a special bonding with Pakistan as a number of their star players visited Lahore with the ICC World XI in 2017 and have appeared in the HBL Pakistan Super League with Faf du Plessis being the latest addition after featuring in the playoffs in Karachi. The home series against South Africa will complete the process for full resumption and restoration of international cricket in Pakistan, which started in 2015. However, the process got the real shot in the arm in the 2019-2020 season when Pakistan hosted Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Marylebone Cricket Club as well as the HBL Pakistan Super League 2020.”
South Africa tour to Pakistan Itinerary
26-30 January – 1st Test, Karachi
04-08 February – 2nd Test, Rawalpindi
11 February – 1st T20I, Lahore
13 February – 2nd T20I, Lahore
14 February – 3rd T20I, Lahore