South Africa cricket team, which is currently playingn a home T20I series against England, has reportedly refused to travel to Pakistan for the proposed tour in March 2020. As per a prior mutual agreement between the Cricket South Africa (CSA) and Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB), the tour has been postponed until any suitable schedule is devised in the future.
Earlier, South Africa was expected to tour Pakistan during the month of March for a 3-match T20I series. CSA, however, has aborted the tour citing players’ workload issues. Before the Pakistan tour, the Proteas will lock horns against India in a three-match ODI series between March 12 and March 18 in an away tour.
And during the same time, Pakistan will be busy hosting the fifth edition of the Pakistan Super League (PSL), which will conclude on March 22.
The PCB proposed a Dubai stay for the South African players for a few days until the conclusion of the PSL, and then make suitable arrangements for players to reach Rawalpindi for the T20I affair. CSA, however, refused to accept the proposal with the imminent beginning of the 13th edition of the IPL.
IPL is expected to begin from March 29 and it would have been nearly impossible for the players to feature in the T20I series in such a short duration of time. As a result, CSA has deferred the tour in order to allow its players some rest ahead of the IPL.
The scheduled tour will now be played at a time, which is suitable for both the boards considering the FTP’s for both the teams. In the recent past, there has been a general consensus of teams agreeing to tour Pakistan. Recently, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have been a part of the Test series played in Pakistan after a gap of nearly 10 years.
Currently, a 12-man MCC team led by former Sri Lankan great Kumar Sangakkara, is present in Pakistan for promoting the revival of cricket in the country. The MCC squad will play four limited-overs matches against local teams in order to send clear signals to other nations to accept the proposal to tour Pakistan.
Cover picture credits: The Namibian