Pakistan lends Cricket SA a helping hand after Australia ducks Test series
JOHANNESBURG – The Pakistan Cricket Board has lent its Cricket South Africa counterparts a small helping hand – a finger if you will – by agreeing to add an extra T20 International to the schedule when its men’s team tours here in April.
It won’t help to make up for the absence of the Australian team and the three Tests that side was scheduled to play here in March, but it’s better than nothing, and gives the Proteas players an extra opportunity to impress the selectors in a World Cup year while adding a few extra cents to CSA’s beleaguered coffers.
“We are delighted to help assist our fellow member countries in their plight to survive. We all have a collective responsibility to look after the game and its welfare together as ICC Members,” the PCB’s director of International Cricket, Zakir Khan said.
“South Africa and Pakistan's relationship is a long-standing and mutually valued one, and it was an easy decision for us to accommodate their request. We’re all looking forward to a successful tour.”
Earlier this week, ESPNcricinfo reported that CSA, in a letter to the International Cricket Council, said Australia’s decision to not tour South Africa is “against the spirit of sportsmanship” and raised concerns about a “serious impact on the financial wellbeing of less-wealthy” cricketing nations.
Cricket Australia cancelled its men’s team’s tour here citing concerns over the coronavirus pandemic and specifically the 501.Y2 strain first identified by South African scientists. Those concerns came despite Cricket SA’s willingness to utilise the strictest protocols in a bio-secure environment, with even the national government providing assistance.
“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,” said Cricket SA’s Director of Cricket, Graeme Smith.
Pakistan will arrive in the country on March 26 to go into the “bio-bubble". The seven matches will be split between SuperSport Park and the Wanderers.
Schedule: Pakistan Men’s Tour to South Africa
Friday, 2 April: 1st ODI, SuperSport Park, Pretoria
Sunday, 4 April: 2nd ODI, Wanderers
Wednesday, 7 April: 3rd ODI, SuperSport Park
Saturday, 10 April: 1st T20I, Wanderers
Monday, 12 April: 2nd T20I, Wanderers
Wednesday, 14 April: 3rd T20I, SuperSport Park
Friday, 16 April: 4th T20I, SuperSport Park