In a big blow to Pakistan, South Africa have withdrawn their interest from touring the Asian country. Pakistan, who are trying desperately for the resumption of international cricket at home on a regular basis, were hopeful of hosting South Africa for a three-match T20I series next month.
However, Cricket South Africa (CSA) have called off the tour, citing the players’ workload following the India tour next month. According to ESPNCricinfo, the proposed tour will now be rescheduled later after both boards find a new window this year.
The report further stated that South Africa’s tour to Pakistan was mainly facing logistical challenges although CSA was planning to send a security delegation to Pakistan next months during the PSL to assess security arrangements. But the board has now decided to call off the tour for the time being, keeping in mind the players’ workload.
South Africa will be in India next month for a three-match ODI series which will end on March 18. The Pakistan Cricket Board was planning to make the Proteas star stay in Dubai – with the PSL ending on March 22 – and then fly them directly to Islamabad for the three T20Is in Rawalpindi.
Most of South Africa’s big names will be plying their trade in the Indian Premier League (IPL) which gets underway on March 29. Thus a series sandwiched between the ODI series against India and the IPL would have made things difficult for the players.
The Proteas are currently hosting England for T20Is with the tour ending on Sunday after four Tests, three ODIs and three T20Is. Within five days after the last game against England, they will host Australia for three T20Is and as many ODIs, stretching the last game to March 7. They have to then fly to India and play three ODIs starting March 12.
Pakistan, meanwhile, hosted Sri Lanka for a Test series in December and recently hosted Bangladesh for three T20Is and a Test.