South Africa confirm first tour of Pakistan in 14 years

Proteas to tour for two Tests and three T20s in January and February

South Africa's Tabraiz Shamsi (R) and South Africa's captain and wicketkeeper Quinton de Kock (2nd R) celebrates with teammates after the dismissal of England's Ben Stokes (not visible) during the second T20 international cricket match between South Africa and England at Boland Park stadium in Paarl, South Africa, on November 29, 2020.  / AFP / Rodger BOSCH
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South Africa will make their first tour of Pakistan in 14 years when they play two Test matches and three Twenty20 internationals in January and February 2021.

Cricket South Africa announced on Wednesday that the decision had been made following a visit to Pakistan by a security delegation recently.

The Proteas will arrive in Karachi on January 16 and undergo a period of quarantine before the first Test in the same city from January 26 to 30.

The second Test will be in Rawalpindi from February 4 to 8, followed by three T20 internationals in Lahore on February 11, 13 and 14.

The Test series will be part of the International Cricket Council's Test championship.

South Africa have not toured Pakistan since 2007 when they won a two-Test series 1-0.

They will be the fourth international team to visit Pakistan since an attack on the Sri Lankan team in Lahore in 2009 put a decade-long halt to tours of the country.

CSA Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith said: "It's pleasing to see so many countries making a return to Pakistan - a proud, cricket-loving nation. Cricket South Africa is delighted to be counted among them.

"As someone who has toured the country on more than one occasion back in my playing days, I know how much passion the people of Pakistan have for the game as well as the love and support that the Proteas enjoy there as a team.

"I would like to thank the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) for the hospitality and transparency they showed our security contingent when they travelled over there a few weeks ago.

"The report on their findings and recommendations gives us confidence as an organisation that all of our team's security, playing and accommodation needs will be met, and that the wellbeing of the team will be the top priority. We look forward to embarking on this historical tour."

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) director Zakir Khan confirmed that South Africa had been satisfied with the bio-secure arrangements which they assessed during Pakistan's series against Zimbabwe last month.

"The year 2020 has been a challenging year for the world sport, but we have successfully hosted 60 percent of domestic matches this season, including an international series against Zimbabwe," Khan is quoted as saying in a PCB release.

The announcement comes soon after England's limited-overs tour of South Africa was cut short before the start of the ODI series following a Covid-19 outbreak in the teams' bubble.