Rawalpindi likely to host T20I series between Pakistan and SA

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South Africa’s three-match T20I series against Pakistan in March could be held in Rawalpindi, PCB chief executive Wasim Khan suggested, adding that logistics, along with security, will play in important role in South Africa giving the green signal for the series.

South Africa, who are also touring India for a series of three ODIs, end the tour on March 18. Meanwhile, the Pakistan Super League competition concludes on March 22. Given this scenario, it wouldn’t be practical for South Africa to go back home and then fly again to Pakistan in a short span of time.

Hence it has been suggested that South Africa could either stop over at the UAE for a few days or fly directly to Rawalpindi in preparation for the three-match series. “We have to make it work logistically as South Africa finish the tour of India on 18 March and we don’t finish the HBL PSL till 22 March,” Wasim Khan told PCB Digital.

“For them to go back [to South Africa] and come again won’t be possible so we will have to see whether we can have them sit in the UAE for six or eight (days) and provide them the support and practice facilities, or we fly them straight in here and provide all that here.”

A delegation of security experts from South Africa will visit Pakistan, with the head of security expected to be in the country during the initial phase of the PSL. With the IPL expected to start on March 29, and several South African players participating in the Indian T20 tournament, South Africa’s series against Pakistan has to happen within a short window.

“The tour of South Africa is very much a waiting game now and by the end of the month we should have a clear position. Their head of security is expected in Pakistan during the initial games of the HBL Pakistan Super League. He has all the security plans for each of the different venues. He and the board of South Africa are very comfortable with touring,” said Wasim Khan.

Wasim Khan also said South Africa were comfortable with Rawalpindi as the venue for the series. “Lahore and Karachi venues have been diluted because we have been playing our entire cricket here and because of that the wickets here are also suffering. We now have Rawalpindi as a venue available. For me, it makes sense to go there and play the three matches. I have suggested Rawalpindi as a venue to South Africa and they are comfortable with the suggestion,” he said.

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