x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Tour dates for Pakistan-South Africa cricket series in the UAE finalised

Two Tests, five one-day internationals and two Twenty20 matches will be played in October and November across the emirates of Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah, writes Osman Samiuddin.

Graeme Smith is expected to lead South Africa later this year, just like he did three years ago. Ravindranath K / The National
Graeme Smith is expected to lead South Africa later this year, just like he did three years ago. Ravindranath K / The National

ABU DHABI // South Africa will kick off a bumper season of international cricket in the UAE from October this year, with a full series of nine international matches against Pakistan.

The sides will play two Tests, five ODIs and two Twenty20s over five weeks in October and November. The news that the series will be played in the UAE, for now Pakistan's home venue, was confirmed last week and the Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) released the official schedule on Tuesday.

Matches will take place in the three main cricket centres in the country. The two Tests will be played at Abu Dhabi's Zayed Cricket Stadium and Dubai Sports City, and the five 50-over games will be shared between Abu Dhabi, Sharjah and Dubai. Both Twenty20s are in Dubai.

South Africa, the No 1 Test side after defeating England last August, will play a three-day warm-up game to begin the tour at a venue not yet been decided.

The timings of the limited overs game have also not been decided yet, but three of them will fall on a Friday. When Australia toured for a limited over series last August, ODIs began at 6pm to combat the heat and humidity and some finished past 2am the next morning.

This will be South Africa's second visit to the UAE for a series against Pakistan. Following the terror attacks on the Sri Lanka team at Lahore in March 2009, Pakistan have played most of their series in the UAE. South Africa were their first opponents on a full tour back in October 2010 and the sides played two draws in the Test series. South Africa won the ODIs 3-2 and blanked Pakistan 2-0 in the T20s.

Pakistan are expected to return home to take part in a domestic Twenty20 competition after the last match on November 15, but will be back in the UAE for another full series, this time of three Tests, five ODIs and three T20s against Sri Lanka. The schedule for that tour has not yet been announced but will likely carry on until the end of January. In February 2014 the UAE will host the 10th edition of the ICC Under 19 World Cup, where cricket showcases its brightest young talent.

That will be the second ICC event of the season; in November, after the Pakistan-South Africa series, the ICC World Twenty20 qualifiers will determine which associate countries join the full members in the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh. This will be the second time the UAE has hosted the qualifiers, after doing so in March 2012.

As the host nation, the UAE will have teams in both events.

Pakistan-South Africa series schedule

October
5 – South African team arrive
8-10 – Three-day warm-up match (venue to be decided)
14-18 – First Test, Abu Dhabi
23-27 – Second Test, Dubai
30 – First ODI, Sharjah

November
1 – Second ODI, Dubai
6 – Third ODI, Abu Dhabi
8 – Fourth ODI, Abu Dhabi
11 – Fifth ODI, Sharjah
13 – First Twenty 20, Dubai
15 – Second Twenty 20, Dubai

osamiuddin@thenational.ae

twitter Follow us @SprtNationalUAE