KARACHI: In a major development towards the revival of international cricket in Pakistan, the South African cricket team arrived in Karachi on Saturday after a break of 14 years.
It is the first tour by a South African side to Pakistan since 2007 when Proteas played five ODIs and Tests in the country.
The team, led by Quinton de Kock, reached Karachi via a chartered flight and will be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival.
The touring party has cleared two COVID-19 tests which took place on Tuesday and Thursday before boarding flight to Karachi.
The players will stay in individual isolation until the results of the first round of testing are released.
Meanwhile, a Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) official confirmed that those who returned with the first negative tests would be allowed to resume training at a cricket ground adjacent to the team’s hotel on Club Road.
“The South African team will be training at the Karachi Gymkhana cricket ground from January 17-22 in a biosecure bubble before moving to National Stadium for a full-fledge training session,” said the official.
The visitors will also play a two-day intra-squad warm-up match during the training period at the Gymkhana ground.
The South African squad, along with Pakistani cricketers, will undergo another round of COVID-19 testing before the first Test — scheduled to start from January 26 at the National Stadium.
Moreover, the Pakistan team will report in Karachi on January 19 and will start training from January 21 at NSK after clearing the first COVID-19 test.
Cricket South Africa has made one change in the touring squad ahead of departure to Pakistan. Seamer Ottniel Baartman was ruled out due to medical reasons of a separate nature, while Marco Jansen replaced him in the Test squad.
South Africa’s 21-men Test squad:
Quinton de Kock (c), Temba Bavuma, Aiden Markram, Faf du Plessis, Dean Elgar, Kagiso Rabada, Dwaine Pretorius, Keshav Maharaj, Lungi Ngidi, Rassie van der Dussen, Anrich Nortje, Wiaan Mulder, Lutho Sipamla, Beuran Hendricks, Kyle Verreynne, Sarel Erwee, Keegan Petersen, Tabraiz Shamsi, George Linde, Daryn Dupavillon and Marco Jansen.
Furthermore, CSA will name its T20 squad later, while the 20-over match specialists are due to arrive in Pakistan on February 3.