South Africa reject Pakistan's request for schedule change
Cricket South Africa (CSA) has turned down the Pakistan Cricket Board's (PCB) request to alter the dates of Pakistan's tour to South Africa starting February 2013 citing busy international schedule as the reason. The PCB had requested the change to expand the current 12-day window for its proposed Twenty20 league that follows the South Africa tour in March.
"We wanted to expand our window (for the T20 league), but they (CSA) didn't agree so we decided to continue as per the Future Tours Programme," Zaka Ashraf, the PCB chairman, told ESPNcricinfo. "CSA told the PCB that they had already announced and sold tickets and it was not possible to make any change."
Pakistan are set to launch their T20 premier league in March and were hoping to have a bigger window while avoiding a clash with the 2013 season of IPL that starts from April 3. They are scheduled to play three Tests, five ODIs and two T20s between February 1 and March 24, 2013 and wanted the dates to be advanced. However, South Africa will be busy hosting New Zealand in December and January.
"They (PCB) asked us to move the tour earlier but it was just not possible because of our schedule," Jacques Faul, the acting CSA chief executive, told ESPNcricinfo. "We always try to accommodate other countries but we can't always manage. The program is very busy these days. We also play our domestic competitions while tours are ongoing."
Meanwhile, the PCB is expediting the staging of the inaugural T20 premier league. One of the purposes of the league is to take steps towards the revival of international cricket in Pakistan by inviting overseas players to participate. The confidence has increased after the success of the matches played between International XI and Pakistan All Star XI in Karachi recently that saw international players for the first time in Pakistan since the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in March 2009.
Umar Farooq is ESPNcricinfo's Pakistan correspondent and Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent