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South Africa confirms first tour to Pakistan in 14 years

LAHORE: South Africa’s cricket team has confirmed its first tour to Pakistan in 14 years comprising two Test matches and three Twenty20 Internationals.

South Africa will arrive in Karachi on 16th January and will play the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi from 26-30th January. They will then travel to Rawalpindi where the second Test will be held from 4-8th February. The iconic Gaddafi Stadium will be the venue of the three T20 matches scheduled for 11, 13 and 14 February.

Upon arrival in Karachi and in the lead up to the first Test, South Africa will observe an isolation period following which they will hold training sessions and play intra-squad practice matches.

This will be South Africa’s first visit to Pakistan since the 2007 tour when they won their Test match in Karachi by 160 runs to clinch the series 1-0. The subsequent series in 2010 and 2013 were played in the United Arab Emirates.

Since 1995, the two sides have played 11 Test series with South Africa winning seven and Pakistan one in 2003. In this background, Babar Azam’s side will be determined to end the 18-year series win drought and move up in the ICC World Test Championship ladder.

South Africa is ranked sixth in the ICC Test team rankings, while Pakistan is seventh. As for the T20Is, this will be the first time the two sides will go head to head in Pakistan, having previously played the two series in the United Arab Emirates. South Africa won both the series.

Pakistan captain Babar Azam said he was delighted that South Africa have confirmed their tour to Pakistan and look forward to captaining for the first time in a home Test match.

“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,” he said.

“With the amount of cricket that is lined up in 2021, I am excited that a number of promising and budding cricketers will get chances to break into the national side and cement their places.”

“This is critical to Pakistan’s future in developing a strong and formidable nucleus of players who can step up and challenge any opposition anywhere in the world.”

Tour itinerary

  • 26-30 Jan – 1st Test, Karachi
  • 4-8 Feb – 2nd Test, Rawalpindi
  • 11 Feb – 1st T20I, Lahore
  • 13 Feb – 2nd T20I, Lahore
  • 14 Feb – 3rd T20I, Lahore
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