PCB requests South Africa to play series in Pakistan

Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) Chairman Ehsan Mani has reportedly requested Cricket South Africa (CSA) to tour the country next year.

“Mani will request them to also play a short limited-overs series sometime in 2019 in Pakistan,” the Press Trust of India quoted a PCB source as saying.

An official source in the PCB told Press Trust of India news agency that Mani would also be persuading CSA officials to continue their support for the return of international cricket to Pakistan as last year the World XI included several South African players.

Pakistan are currently in South Africa for three Tests, five ODIs and three T20Is. The first Test will get under way at SuperSport Park in Centurion on Wednesday. The hosts will be without seamers Vernon Philander and Lungi Ngidi, who have been sidelined by injury.

The uncapped Zubayr Hamza and Dane Paterson have been named in the squad. Batsman Temba Bavuma and Theunis de Bruyn, meanwhile, have been all but declared fit to play. Both were nursing injuries.

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Cricket Australia, meanwhile, are contemplating a return to Pakistan.

‘We are in ongoing discussions with the PCB about the ODI tour in March next year. We recognise that the PCB and the Pakistan government are taking every step to improve the security for touring cricket teams, and we’ll continue discussions with the PCB as the safety and security of Australian players and support staff is our number one priority,’ said a CA spokesman.

Mani has said that his main priority remains the return of full international cricket to Pakistan and the country again hosting the International Cricket Council (ICC) events.

International cricket has been rare in Pakistan since 2009, when the touring Sri Lankan’s team bus was attacked by terrorists. Pakistan have effectively adopted the United Arab Emirates as their home since 2010, playing several series in Dubai, Sharjah and Abu Dhabi.

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