Spurned by India,South Africa has turned to Pakistan to help fill some of the gaps in its international calendar and soften the financial blow of a reduced series against cricket’s most marketable team.
Cricket South Africa said on Tuesday that Pakistan will tour for three one-day internationals and two Twenty20s and arrive on Nov. 18,straight after the teams’ current series in United Arab Emirates and partly making up for the Board of Control for Cricket in India’s decision to reject a proposed two-month tour to South Africa.
India will now only be in South Africa for less than a month in December.
“With the Indian tour having unfortunately been curtailed,we needed to give our fans the opportunity to see the Proteas in action,and I’m delighted that Pakistan accepted our offer to tour here,” CSA chief executive Haroon Lorgat said in a statement. “It’s not been an easy period for South African cricket,but I want to thank our fans and commercial partners for their patience and support during this time.”
The five games will be crammed into a 10-day period from Nov. 20-30 and be in Johannesburg,Cape Town,Port Elizabeth and Centurion. Cape Town’s Newlands gets two games after missing out completely in the India tour.
“We are very happy to tour South Africa,” PCB chairman Najam Sethi was quoted as saying in the CSA statement announcing the series.
The PCB has had its own problems,and the hastily arranged South African trip was in doubt after interim chairman Sethi was suspended by a judge in Pakistan last week. He was reinstated on Monday and Pakistan could make around $1.5 million for agreeing at short notice to help out South Africa.
“The tour will be beneficial to both our boards,” Sethi said.
South Africa was left with gaps in late November and all though January after India turned down a three-test,seven-ODI and two-T20 tour in favor of the shorter schedule,allowing the BCCI to celebrate Sachin Tendulkar’s career-ending 200th test at home and then go on a tour to New Zealand in the new year. India agreed to just two tests and three ODIs,cutting South Africa’s planned marquee series this season by more than half.
The slight was a poorly disguised move by the BCCI to show its dissatisfaction with South Africa over the appointment of Lorgat,the former International Cricket Council chief executive who has a long history of run-ins with the BCCI. Lorgat also volunteered to step aside from his duties during India’s shortened tour to ensure there is no more friction.
CSA hasn’t announced any replacement series for South Africa in January – its peak season – when cricket’s top-ranked test team has a completely empty fixture list before Australia arrives in February.