South Africa is all set to tour Pakistan after 14 years. The Proteas will play a two-match Test series, 1st of which will be played in Karachi starting on January 26, followed by the three T20Is from February 11 to 14.
Pakistan went years without playing home games after militants attacked the team bus of the Sri Lankan side in 2009. Since then Pakistan played a majority of its home matches in the United Arab Emirates for a decade before Sri Lanka returned for two Test matches in 2019.
Former South African captain, Faf Du plessis, didn’t expect for a Test series to happen this soon in Pakistan and said that he hopes that it is the same as it was 13 years ago
"That is one thing I did not see happening in my time. I knew white-ball cricket was happening here, but I did not know that the red-ball cricket was going to happen this soon. I am looking forward to it and I hope that it is the same as it was 13 years ago – the wickets are flat so we the batters can score some runs." Faf du Plessis told the Pakistan Cricket Board's digital channel.
Du Plessis however toured Pakistan in 2017 as a captain of International Cricket Council-backed World XI for a Twenty20 series, which saw the return of international cricket back to Pakistan after the 2009 shooting incident on the Sri Lankan team.
He returned last November to feature in the Pakistan Super League playoff for Peshawar Zalmi at Karachi's National Stadium, which is the venue for the first Test-match.
Addressing the same Du Plessis said that Pakistan cricket Board (PCB) did really well in bringing players from all around the world to come and play in Pakistan.
"That (2017) was the first step to bring any sort of cricket back (to Pakistan)," Du Plessis said. "What they did really well at that stage was to bring players from all around the world to come and play and to see that the security levels were going to be very, very good and it gave players peace of mind." he said.
Faf du Plessis, 36, further talked about the importance of playing in the home conditions for Pakistan, both for the players and the local fan base.
"It's important for Pakistan to play in home conditions," du Plessis said. "They have been playing in the UAE for the last 11 years so (some) fans have never seen them play — that's almost like a generation and that's missed seeing them play." he concluded.
( AP inputs)