LAHORE: Cricket South Africa (CSA) has confirmed the schedule of its security delegation’s visit to Pakistan to inspect three cricket centres from Nov 1 to 8 for South African team’s planned tour to the country scheduled for January 2021.
The series will comprise two Tests and three T20 Internationals.
CSA confirmed the schedule of its inspection team at a time when their sports minister has issued an ultimatum to CSA for interference in the backdrop of a crisis CSA is facing in its management affairs.
CSA has faced strong criticism from sponsors and players, latter, accusing the board of ‘self-interest’ in failing to deal adequately with the contents of the internal report, and the postponement of an Annual General Meeting scheduled for Sept 5, which was to elect a new president after Chris Nenzani resigned in August.
England’s scheduled tour to South Africa for an ODI series later this year currently looks in the doldrums due to this ongoing crisis within CSA.
According to the schedule obtained by Dawn, the CSA inspection team will arrive in Rawalpindi on Nov 1 when Zimbabwe squad will be there to start the three-match ODI series from Oct 30 at the Pindi Cricket Stadium, one of the venues proposed by the PCB for the series against South Africa.
Lahore’s Gaddafi Stadium and Karachi’s National Stadium are the two other venues to be inspected by the delegation.
The delegation will stay in Rawalpindi till Nov 3 to watch the last ODI between Pakistan and Zimbabwe and the next day they will be in Karachi to inspect the National Stadium.
In the last leg of the tour, the delegation will be in Lahore on Nov 5 and 7 to inspect the Gaddafi Stadium, where Zimbabwe will be playing the first T20 against Pakistan on Nov 7. Next day, the security team will fly back to South Africa.
It may be mentioned here that last time South Africa team toured Pakistan back in 2007. However, following the terrorist attack on Sri Lanka team in Lahore in March 2009, the PCB for several years organised all home series at the neutral venues of the UAE.
However, from 2015 the PCB managed to host the West Indies, Sri Lanka, Zimbabwe, Kenya, World XI and the MCC teams. Pakistan has also managed to host three Test matches, two against Sri Lanka in 2019, which was the first Test series since the 2009 Lahore attack. Then one Test match against Bangladesh was also held. Still Pakistan’s one Test match against Bangladesh is pending as it was scheduled to be held in April this year but was postponed due to Covid-19 pandemic.
South African cricket team’s tour to Pakistan will be a very healthy sign as the PCB continues its efforts of holding all the home series in Pakistan instead of the UAE. In this regard, the PCB is planning to host New Zealand in September next year and Australia in 2022.
Seven South African cricketers featured in the HBL PSL-5 staged in Pakistan. Among them are world prominent fast bowler Dale Steyn, Colin Ingram (Islamabad United), Cameron Delport (Karachi Kings), Dane Vilas and David Wiese (Lahore Qalandars), Rilee Rossouw and Imran Tahir (Multan Sultans).
Earlier in 2017, five South African cricketers were part of the World XI, which toured Pakistan. Among them were prominent players like Faf du Plessis, Hashim Amla, Imran Tahir, Morne Morkel and David Miller.
Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2020