South Africa skipper Quinton de Kock appreciates the top-level security given to the team in the Pakistan cricket tour.
South Africa tour of Pakistan
The South African cricket squad landed in Pakistan on Saturday for their first tour — consisting of two Tests and three T20Is — to the country after a 14-year break.
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 first Test starts in Karachi on 26 January.
This is pakistan baby and our chai is fanstic.Foof proof Security. @shamsi90 welcome to the land of Hospitality. Hope @OfficialCSA will enjoy their tour in pakistan
Best of luck both pakistan and SA for series.#WelcomeToPakistan #Pakistan #PakistanMovingForward #PAKvSA #pakvsSa pic.twitter.com/cUtNM3fCWf
— Mirza Awais (@MirzaAwais008) January 16, 2021
“When we were coming here, obviously, security was a concern – if not the biggest concern,” the 28-year-old told a virtual news conference.
“When we landed here we saw the amount of security… we became a lot calmer. It became less of a worry and we were able to focus more on cricket.”
Sri Lankan players attacked in Pakistan
Pakistan went years without playing home games after militant Islamists attacked the team bus of the Sri Lankan side in 2009. They have hosted a few limited-overs matches since 2015, but Test cricket only resumed in December 2019.
“It looks like all corners are checked… all bases covered, touch wood,” said de Kock.
“At the moment we feel safe. There is a lot of security, so now we are just worrying about cricket.”
The squad are being kept effectively in a bubble at their Karachi hotel as a precaution against the coronavirus but can train at a nearby club ground.
All matches will be played behind closed doors, however, as Pakistan grapples with an epidemic that has officially infected over half a million people and killed more than 10,000.
De Kock admitted playing conditions in Pakistan were unknown for the squad, although head coach Mark Boucher toured in 1997, 2003, and 2007 as a player.
“We do understand that spin plays a big part in the subcontinent so we will have all our bases covered,” said de Kock, who will play his 50th Test in Karachi.
The second Test will be played in Rawalpindi from 4 February, while Lahore will host all three Twenty20 internationals on February 11, 13 14.