Pakistan will travel to South Africa for three ODIs and four T20Is in April, the country’s cricket board confirmed on Friday (February 12). The teams will start with the ODIs, part of the ICC Super League, a pathway to ensuring direct qualification for the 2023 World Cup.
The Pakistan team will depart for Johannesburg on March 26 and will play the three Super League matches on April 2, 4 and 7. Centurion will host the first and the third ODIs, while the second match will be played at the Wanderers in Johannesburg. This will be South Africa’s first assignment in the Super League. Pakistan, on the other hand, beat Zimbabwe 2-1 in a series held in November last year.
This white-ball tour of South Africa, originally scheduled for October 2020 and postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, was slated to feature only three T20Is. But an additional T20I has been added upon request from Cricket South Africa. The first two games of the series, on April 10 and 12, will be played in Johannesburg with Centurion rounding off the tour with games on April 14 and 16.
“We are delighted to finally confirm the dates and full schedule for Pakistan’s white-ball tour to South Africa,” said Graeme Smith, CSA’s director of cricket. “Pakistan have proved their status over the years as one of the most dangerous limited-overs teams and I’m sure they will give the Proteas a stern test on the Highveld. We will also have the much-anticipated ‘Betway Pink ODI’ take place during the tour and that is something further to look forward to for the players, the fans and all those associated with this iconic day.
“We are grateful to the PCB for agreeing to our request within a short period of time to increase the length of the trip by adding in a fourth T20, which will give us some much-needed additional international content.”
Curiously, however, the scheduling of the series is likely to coincide with the start of the 2021 season of the IPL. Last season, as many as 10 South Africans, including skipper Quinton de Kock, were part of the league. It remains to be seen how the logistics of the IPL-bound players, along with their quarantine times, will be managed.
2 April – 1st ODI; SuperSport Park, Centurion
4 April – 2nd ODI; Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
7 April – 3rd ODI; SuperSport Park, Centurion
10 April – 1st T20I; Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
12 April – 2nd T20I; Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
14 April – 3rd T20I; SuperSport Park, Centurion
16 April -4th T20I; SuperSport Park, Centurion