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Pakistan invite South Africa for a T20I series in 2020

The PCB has already invited Cricket Ireland to tour Pakistan after the PSL.

Pakistan Shoaib Akhtar
Pakistan. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

Pakistan have made it clear that they are desperate for international cricket to return to their backyard in full flow. The Asian giants have suffered a lot in the last decade due to the absence of international cricket at home. In the wake of the attack on the Sri Lankan team bus in 2009, teams refused to travel to Pakistan due to security reasons.

Following the attack, they had to play their home games at UAE and did suffer a big revenue loss.  But in the last couple of years, Pakistan have increased their efforts to ensure teams visit them. The signs have been promising too. Zimbabwe were the first team to visit Pakistan after the attack when they toured the country in 2015.

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In the last couple of years, Pakistan have hosted Sri Lanka, West Indies as well as World XI side for a T20I series. Last month, they had hosted Sri Lanka for an ODI and T20I series. They are now gearing up to host Test cricket for the first time in more than a decade, with Sri Lanka agreeing to visit for two matches next month.

South Africa to visit too along with Bangladesh?

Pakistan have also reportedly invited South Africa for a T20I series next year. A source from Pakistan Cricket Board confirmed the news, saying that the board has already sent a formal invitation to Cricket South Africa (CSA) to play three T20I matches in Pakistan after the Proteas’ ODI series in India next year.

“We have invited them to stop in Pakistan and play three T20 matches as well and their response has been good,” the source was quoted as saying by India.com.

If the series gets the nod from CSA, then it’s likely to be held after the Pakistan Super League (PSL) in the last week of March. The PCB has already invited Cricket Ireland to tour Pakistan after the PSL for a full series. Ireland are yet to confirm the tour. Pakistan are also in line to host Bangladesh at the start of the next year.

Reports have suggested that the coaching staff of Bangladesh is not willing to tour Pakistan. There were also reports suggesting that Bangladesh do not want to play a Test in Pakistan. However, a senior PCB official has rubbished the rumours, saying: “The fact is that the PCB has now adopted a policy where it is averse to playing any of its home matches at neutral venues,”

He said that once Sri Lanka came for a two-match Test series in December, there was no reason for Bangladesh to say no. “Their security delegation has also been to Pakistan and visited venues,” he said. The Bangladesh team is due to tour Pakistan from January 18.

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