South Africa confirms first tour to Pakistan in 14 years

Pakistan Cricket Board today announced details of South Africa men’s cricket team’s first tour to Pakistan in 14 years. The tour will comprise two ICC World Test Championship fixtures and three Twenty20 Internationals.

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. 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.

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 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.

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.

Separately, 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.