South African Team Arrives in Karachi After 14 Years

After multiple attempts of trying to revive international cricket in Pakistan, the South African cricket team is finally visiting Karachi after 14 years!

With the improvement and reemergence of international cricket in Pakistan, the South African cricket team has arrived in Pakistan, Karachi today, on Saturday after a gap of 14 years!

The South African team is here in Karachi to play two Tests and three Twenty20 internationals in a team led by wicketkeeper-batsman Quinton de Kock, who was escorted from the airport under state-head level security accorded by the hosts, the Pakistan Cricket Board. The 21-member cricket team had two Covid-19 tests before their departure from Johannesburg which all came back negative, and they will further be tested upon their arrival as well.

Until the results for their Covid-19 tests come in, the players will be staying in individual isolation, and once done, they will begin training in a ground adjacent to their hotel. According to PCB, the South African team is said to begin training in the Karachi National Stadium.

“The South African team will be training at the Karachi Gymkhana cricket ground from January 17-22 in a biosecure bubble before moving to National Stadium for a full-fledge training session,” said the official.

The test matches between Karachi and the South African cricket team begin on 26th January, the second Test starts in Rawalpindi from February 4 while Lahore will host all three Twenty20 internationals on February 11, 13, and 14.

Moreover, the South African team’s head coach, Mark Boucher, expressed his satisfaction with the arrangements made in Karachi and said that they must begin playing cricket in Pakistan more often. “We’ve had our [security] guys go there [to Pakistan] and do a recce of the situation and they have said it is safe,” Boucher told reporters ahead of the team’s departure on Friday. “So from my side there are no issues, we have to get back there and start playing cricket.”

Previously, international cricket was put on hold in Pakistan due to a terrorist attack on the Sri Lankan team’s bus in 2009. However, Pakistan has been trying immensely to revive international cricket and has hosted several matches in the last 5 years, reviving Test Cricket in the late 2019s when the Sri Lankan team toured once again. All this has led to building international confidence and brought the South African team to Karachi after 14 years!

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