Pakistan’s tour of South Africa later this year looks set to be postponed. While both the parties – Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) and Cricket South Africa (CSA) – are yet to formally announce the postponement of the series, it looks like the only outcome after CSA Director Cricket Graeme Smith’s statement last week.
The former Proteas captain had said that South Africa would not be in a position to host any cricket till November due to Covid-19 which has effectively ended all the hopes of the series against Pakistan taking place. Pakistan were scheduled to play three ODIs and as many T20Is in South Africa in late September. The ODIs are a part of the ODI Super League.
Another big reason behind the postponement is IPL 2020. The thirteenth edition of the tournament is set to get underway on September 19 and the South African players have already received the No Objection Certificates (NOCs) from CSA.
“South Africa as a host country has the authority to decide on the fate of the tour. Smith’s last week statement possibly says it all. If they are not ready to host cricket, visiting teams are not in a position to force them,” a PCB official was quoted as saying by The News.
“The three-match series was supposed to be the first for Pakistan campaign to directly qualify for the 2023 World Cup. Obviously we wanted to kickstart the campaign but now that looks almost impossible,” the PCB official added.
CSA has already cancelled away tours to Sri Lanka and West Indies. Despite West Indies Cricket Board’s keen interest, CSA looked least interested to tour West Indies — a country not affected by Covid-19 pandemic. Majority of the South African cricketers have shown their interest in IPL and CSA have respected the players’ decision in these testing times.
The news outlet further stated that if pandemic permits, there are good chances that the series against South Africa could take place in February-March 2021. Pakistan are currently in England for the Test and T20I series.