Pakistan to host SA in the emirates in Oct-Nov
Karachi: Pakistan will host South Africa for a revised series of two Tests, five one-day internationals and a one-off Twenty20 match in Abu Dhabi and Dubai in October-November this year.
The series is being held in the emirates after the South Africans refused to tour Pakistan because of the prevailing security situation there.
Originally, the series had three Tests, three one-dayers and a Twenty20 match but Pakistan requested South Africa to revise the schedule keeping in mind next year’s 50-over World Cup.
“We felt that with the World Cup coming up, it would be better for both the teams to play an extra one-day match then a third Test match,” a Pakistan Cricket Board official said.
Pakistan has been isolated as an international venue since March last year when militants attacked the Sri Lankan cricket team in Lahore.
The attack that shook the cricketing world killed five Pakistani policemen and a van driver and wounded six Sri Lankan players.
Since then no foreign team has agreed to visit the strife-torn nation, forcing Pakistan to play its share of home series at neutral venues.
Abu Dhabi and Dubai had already hosted Pakistan’s series against Australia and New Zealand.
PCB chairman Ejaz Butt said that he was grateful to the Cricket South Africa (CSA) for agreeing to play the series in the UAE.
“I am very grateful to Dr Mtutuzeli Nyoka and Gerald Majola (CSA chief executive) for their understanding of our position and supporting us to make this series possible. I would especially like to thank the Emirates Cricket Board for their unwavering support to Pakistan Cricket,” Butt said in a statement.
“This series will provide great entertainment for cricket fans as PCB and CSA have worked hard to bring this event about and we are very excited to be returning to the world class facilities in the UAE,” he added.
CSA chief executive Gerald Majola said, “The Proteas always enjoy playing Pakistan and CSA was glad to assist the PCB and ensure this tour happened. We are especially delighted that the fans will get to see top flight cricket between these two teams.”
With this series, Dubai Sports City and Abu Dhabi’s Sheikh Zayed stadium’s will make its debut as Test venues.