Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved state guest level security for the South African cricket team, who are to arrive in Pakistan on 16th January. From the Prime Minister’s office, the Interior and Foreign ministry have received orders to make arrangement for the state guests. South Africa will participate in two Tests and three T20Is in Karachi, Rawalpindi, and Lahore.
As per the arrangements by Interior ministry, they have prepared a foolproof security plan and approximately 500 personnel would be on duty with the touring party. Pakistan will host South Africa for the first time since 2007 with Karachi and Rawalpindi set to stage the first two Tests. On the other hand, Lahore will host the subsequent three T20 internationals.
While teams like World Eleven, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe and West Indies have played Tests and limited-overs matches in Pakistan, South Africa is the first high-profile team to visit Pakistan since 2010. The uncertain security situation in Pakistan and ever since the Sri Lankan team faced a terrorist attack in 2009; teams have been reluctant to tour the nation.
Pakistan Cricket Board to prepare a comprehensive bio-security plan:
The Interior Ministry has also decided that the personnel of Police and Anti-Terrorism Squad (ATS) would also be utilized for the security of South Africa’s team as and when they travel. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) has furnished a bio-bubble plan and the tourists will follow a quarantine period after arriving in Karachi.
After completing their isolation period, South Africa will get to their training sessions and participate in intra-squad practice fixtures. Cricket South Africa has named a 21-man squad for the two-match Test series thus far. They will continue their good form from their winning effort against Sri Lanka at home while the hosts will aim to reverse their fortunes from their New Zealand tour.