Security, COVID-19 restrictions make Pakistan's tour tough, says South Africa's Mark Boucher

WION Web Team
New Delhi, India Published: Jan 26, 2021, 01.01 PM(IST)

Security, COVID-19 restrictions make Pakistan's tour tough, says South Africa's Mark Boucher Photograph:( AFP )

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Pakistan and South Africa are locking horns in the first Test of the two-match series at the National Stadium in Karachi with the Proteas visiting the country for the first time in 14 years, after international cricket in Pakistan was suspended due to terror attacks on the Sri Lankan side in 2009. 

Pakistan and South Africa are locking horns in the first Test of the two-match series at the National Stadium in Karachi with the Proteas visiting the country for the first time in 14 years, after international cricket in Pakistan was suspended due to terror attacks on the Sri Lankan side in 2009. 

While South Africa are batting first in the first Test against Pakistan, head coach Mark Boucher said that coronavirus restrictions and strict security protocols will make the tour challenging for South Africa. 

While Pakistan have hosted several limited-overs series in the previous six years, Test cricket resumed in the country in late 2019. 

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"It is challenging from a management perspective – especially when you are in a place like Pakistan where you can't get outside," Boucher told a virtual press conference.  

A massive security detail made up of police and paramilitary personnel is guarding the team at their hotel and the stadium, forcing the squad to spend a lot of time in their rooms.  

"Personally, I don't think it's sustainable from a financial and just a headspace point of view for players, for staff, for management," Boucher said of the coronavirus restrictions. 

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"I think it's been necessary to get the game of cricket up and running. I think everyone understands that. But it doesn't make it easier." 

Boucher, as a player, had toured Pakistan in 1997, 2003 and 2007 and ended up with a world record 555 dismissals as a wicket-keeper in 147 Tests. 

Notably, most of the Proteas elite players will be back home after the completion of the Test series in Rawalpindi in a bid to prepare for the upcoming series against Australia whereas a second-string side will play the three-match T20I series against Pakistan starting from February 11 in Lahore. 

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