LAHORE: Despite the fact that the new wave of Covid-19 is affecting a lot more people around the world and many countries have suspended their flights to and from South Africa, the Proteas tour to Pakistan and Pakistan women’s team tour to South Africa in Jan-Feb next year are still very much on the cards.
Pakistan women’s cricket team will tour South Africa from Jan 11 to Feb 3 to play three One-day Internationals and as many T20 matches in Durban. South Africa’s mens team is scheduled to tour Pakistan after 13 years from Jan 16 to Feb 14 to play two Tests matches series and three T20 matches. The Test team of South Africa will land in Karachi on Jan 16 while their T20 squad is to reach Lahore on Feb 3 where — after a seven-day quarantine period — they will play the first match on Feb 11.
From Feb 3, the Pakistan T20 squad will also go in the bio-secure bubble in Lahore.
Director Media PCB Sami Burney said that though the situation of the Covid-19 was creating different problems, both the cricket boards of Pakistan and South Africa were in constant contact and both the tours were still on the card and there was no threat or issue to the tours.
The spokesman said that as the Sri Lankan cricket team was already in South Africa, playing the first Test from Saturday, the South African team was in bio-secure bubble and will directly reach Karachi to remain in another bio-secure bubble atmosphere in Karachi before to start the Test series.
Similarly, he said the women teams of both the countries were already in a bio-secure bubble atmosphere in Durban (South Africa) and Karachi (Pakistan).
But when asked as travelling under the Covid-19 situation was not easy so the flight operations could alter the tour’s plan, he said precautions steps must be taken during the travelling and routine commercial flights would be used instead of hiring chartered planes for the tour.
It may be mentioned here that the Pakistan team, which is currently in New Zealand had travelled by commercial flights which resulted in as many as six members of the squad testing positive on arrival in New Zealand even though they were tested negative before their departure from Lahore.
Published in Dawn, December 25th, 2020