South Africa will play their first Take a look at in Pakistan for 14 years this week, a match being described as a “monumental second” for the revival of worldwide cricket within the nation. The match within the port metropolis of Karachi beginning Tuesday marks a big vote of confidence for Pakistan the place worldwide cricket was suspended following a terrorist assault on the Sri Lanka crew’s bus in Lahore in 2009. Overseas groups refused to tour the terror-hit nation on safety fears and it was solely within the final six years that Pakistan hosted limited-over collection earlier than Take a look at cricket was revived for the primary time in a decade with the go to of Sri Lanka in December 2019.
A good safety cordon has been thrown across the venue and Pakistan Cricket Board chief govt Wasim Khan mentioned South Africa’s go to was vital.
“These are very thrilling instances for followers and supporters,” mentioned Khan.
“I’d say that it is a monumental second that South Africa is right here after 14 years and everyone is wanting ahead to the matches.”
England have additionally agreed to play two Twenty20s in October on their first journey to Pakistan since 2005, to be adopted by New Zealand and the West Indies for white-ball collection.
If all go untroubled, then Australia will arrive for Checks and one-day matches subsequent yr, having not toured Pakistan since 1998.
“We now have an thrilling yr forward of us as our efforts are bearing fruit,” mentioned Khan, a former England county participant and ex-chief govt of Leicestershire.
On the sphere a dominant South Africa — having received 15 of the 26 Checks between the 2 groups with 4 losses and 7 attracts — will tackle a new-look Pakistan with Babar Azam making his Take a look at captaincy debut.
Will probably be a dream come true for Azam, who was a ball boy throughout South Africa’s final tour in 2007, however he faces a job to carry Pakistan after being swept 2-Zero in Checks in New Zealand previously month.
Azam is again to full health after lacking the New Zealand tour with a fractured thumb and leads an inexperienced 20-man squad with 9 gamers but to play a Take a look at.
One of many uncapped spinners, Nauman Ali and Sajid Khan, is anticipated to win their first cap partnering seasoned leg-spinner Yasir Shah.
South Africa captain Quinton De Kock, whose crew blanked Sri Lanka 2-Zero at house of their latest collection, mentioned he expects spin to be a giant issue.
“These alternatives say lots about the place they wish to go and the way they wish to put together these wickets,” mentioned De Kock, who has left-armer Keshav Maharaj as his frontline spinner.
De Kock cautioned that none of his squad have performed in Pakistan earlier than.
“Our largest problem can be the circumstances that we might face as a result of they’re unknown to us,” he mentioned.
Head coach Mark Boucher did tour Pakistan as a participant thrice — 1997, 2003 and 2007.
“I believe Mark Boucher and one or two different guys who’ve performed right here would maintain us up to date and information us,” mentioned De Kock.
The second Take a look at is in Rawalpindi from February 4-Eight adopted by three Twenty20 internationals in Lahore on February 11, 13 and 14.
The coronavirus pandemic means all of the matches might be performed with out followers in attendance.
Pakistan (from): Babar Azam (capt), Abid Ali, Abdullah Shafique, Imran Butt, Azhar Ali, Fawad Alam, Kamran Ghulam, Salman Ali Agha, Saud Shakeel, Faheem Ashraf, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Sarfraz Ahmed, Nauman Ali, Sajid Khan, Yasir Shah, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Shaheen Shah Afridi, Tabish Khan
South Africa (from): Quinton de Kock (capt), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon, Marco Jansen.
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