Pakistan to tour South Africa in November
Cricket South Africa and the Pakistan Cricket Board have announced a three-match ODI and a two-match T20 series between the two countries which will take place in South Africa later this month. The series was arranged following the announcement of the shortened tour by India to South Africa.
The proposal for a short, limited-overs series was put forward to Cricket South Africa by the PCB's interim management committee in late October. The series was planned during a two-week window in November after the two sides wrap up their current bilateral series in the UAE on November 15; South Africa didn't have anything scheduled till the India series begins on December 5, while Pakistan's next assignment would have been Sri Lanka in the UAE from December 11.
Until yesterday, it was understood that the plan for the series was scrapped due to the PCB's ongoing administration crisis - its top decision-making officials had been suspended by the courts for an indefinite period - which had prevented it from making a commitment to the tour. However, with the Islamabad High Court ruling on Monday that the board's interim management committee can function pending the verdict in the case, it is understood the PCB sanctioned the tour at the earliest opportunity. Najam Sethi, the head of the interim management committee, had told a Pakistan television channel that CSA had offered the PCB US$1.5million to host them.
South Africa were originally due to play three Tests, seven ODIs and two T20s against India, which was cut to two Tests and three ODIs. As a result, Cape Town, Bloemfontein and East London lost their fixtures. Cape Town has been compensated with an ODI and a T20, but the smaller venues all miss out. CSA has likely stuck with the bigger venues for the Pakistan series, as they are hoping to draw in bigger crowds. CSA were expected to lose R200 million (US$ 20m approx.) owing to the curtailed India tour, this series could be a way to make some of that up.
CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said the board was happy with the final line-up of matches for South Africa's home season. "We are really happy to have a full international fixture list for the 2013-14 season with five Test matches, six ODI's and five T20s," he said. "This was important for our team as they prepare for global events.
"We have also done our best to give all our venues a fair chance, bearing in mind that we have practical and logistical issues to deal with."