Pak-South Africa series shifted to UAE for security concerns

Pakistan will play two Tests, five one-day internationals and a Twenty20 match against South Africa in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in October and November.

South Africa is scheduled to visit Pakistan in October, but has refused to play in the country because of security concerns. The matches will now take place in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.

No foreign teams have toured Pakistan since six policemen and a driver were killed when terrorists attacked the Sri Lankan cricket squad bus here in March 2009. Six players were wounded in the incident.

The UAE emerged as an alternate host, as Pakistan had subsequently played their one-day series against Australia and New Zealand in the UAE and switched their home Test series against New Zealand to New Zealand.

Pakistan also dropped out as co-host of the 2011 World Cup and will play their ‘home’ Test series against Australia in England in July, the Daily Times reports.

Cricket South Africa had agreed to the PCB’s proposal of playing a series on neutral ground, back in April.

The PCB even explored the possibility of playing matches in Sharjah, but has decided to restrict it to two venues. Abu Dhabi and Dubai have hosted one-dayers and Twenty20s but never staged a Test.

“This series will provide great entertainment for cricket fans as the PCB and Cricket South Africa have worked hard to bring this event about and we are very excited to be returning to the world class facilities in the UAE,” PCB chief Ijaz Butt told reporters.

Cricket South Africa chief Gerald Majola said in a statement: “The Proteas always enjoy playing Pakistan. We are especially delighted that the fans will get to see top flight cricket between these two teams.”

The tour will take place from October 27 to November 24. (ANI)

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