South Africa to Tour Pakistan First Time in 14 Years For Two Tests And Three T20Is
Shaheen Afridi and other Pakistan players in action during their team's training session in Queenstown©PCB-Twitter

South Africa will tour Pakistan for the first time in 14 years for two Tests and three T20Is starting in January, Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed on Wednesday. While Karachi and Rawalpindi will hosts the two Tests, the three T20Is will be held in Lahore.

“South Africa will arrive in Karachi on 16 January and will play the first Test at the National Stadium in Karachi from 26-30 January,” PCB said in a statement.

“They will then travel to Rawalpindi where the second Test will be held from 4-8 February. The iconic Gaddafi Stadium, headquarters of Pakistan cricket, will be the venue of the three T20Is, which are scheduled for 11, 13 and 14 February.”

The PCB said upon arrival in Karachi the visitors will “observe an isolation period following which they will hold training sessions and play intra-squad practice matches.”

The last time South Africa toured Pakistan was in 2007 when they won the Karachi Test by 160 runs to clinch the series 1-0. The subsequent series in 2010 and 2013 were played in the United Arab Emirates.

The two sides have played 11 Test series since 1995 with South Africa winning seven and Pakistan one in 2003. South Africa is currently at sixth place in the ICC Test team rankings, while Pakistan is seventh.

“I am delighted that South Africa have confirmed their tour to Pakistan and look forward to captaining my country for the first time in a home Test at a venue where we recently won our maiden HBL Pakistan Super League title,” Pakistan captain Babar Azam said.

“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 … an opportunity to improve our rankings across all formats.”

This will be the first time the two sides will go head to head in a T20I series in Pakistan, having previously played two series in the United Arab Emirates. South Africa won both the series.

“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 of Cricket, Graeme Smith said.

“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.”

PCB Director – International – Zakir Khan said: “South Africa confirming a tour to Pakistan and playing matches at the three major centres is fabulous news for Pakistan cricket and its fans.

“After South Africa, we are scheduled to host New Zealand, England and the West Indies, while our away series are against South Africa, Zimbabwe, England, Afghanistan and the West Indies.

“The home series against South Africa will complete the process for full resumption and restoration of international cricket in Pakistan, which started in 2015.”

Tour itinerary:

January 26-30 – 1st Test, Karachi

February 4-8 – 2nd Test, Rawalpindi

February 11 – 1st T20I, Lahore

February 13 – 2nd T20I, Lahore

February 14 – 3rd T20I, Lahore.