Pakistan announce schedule for UAE series against South Africa
The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has announced the itinerary of the 'home' series in the UAE against South Africa in October and November this year. The series will be shared between the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi and the Dubai International Cricket Stadium; the two grounds will join Sharjah, which has hosted Pakistan in the past, as Test venues in the UAE. The series will feature two Tests, five ODIs and a Twenty20 international.
Cricket South Africa had agreed to the PCB's proposal of playing a series on neutral ground, back in April. The PCB even explored the possibility of playing matches in Sharjah, but have decided to restrict it to two venues. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have hosted one-dayers and Twenty20s but never staged a Test.
" I am very grateful to Dr. Mtutuzeli Nyoka (CSA president) and Gerald Majola for their understanding of our position and supporting us to make this even possible," PCB chairman Ijaz Butt said. "I would like to especially thank the Emirates Cricket Board for their unwavering support to Pakistan Cricket."
Pakistan has not hosted an international series since the Lahore attacks in March last year, and was stripped of its rights to host the 2011 World Cup as a result of the volatile security situation in the country. The UAE, with strong links to Pakistan cricket, emerged as an alternate 'host' and Pakistan have played ODI series against Australia and New Zealand in Dubai and Abu Dhabi since last year. Pakistan also played a 'home' Test series against New Zealand late last year, and will also 'host' England and Australia in England later this summer.
Oct 27: Only Twenty20, Abu Dhabi
Oct 29: 1st ODI, Abu Dhabi
Oct 31: 2nd ODI, Abu Dhabi
Nov 2: 3rd ODI, Dubai
Nov 5: 4th ODI, Dubai
Nov 8: 5th ODI, Dubai
Nov 12-16: 1st Test, Dubai
Nov 20-24: 2nd Test, Abu Dhabi