Former Proteas skipper Faf Du Plessis has touched down in Pakistan to take part in the remaining matches of their marquee T20 franchise tournament.
The Pakistan Super League (PSL) was suspended in March with just four matches left.
Faf du Plessis to turn out for Peshawar Zalmi
Pakistan’s cricket board have allowed the teams to select new overseas professionals with Du Plessis picked up by Peshawar Zalmi.
Du Plessis has been representing the Chennai Super Kings during the 2020 Indian Premier League and is match-fit and firing having ended as their top-scorer, albeit in a disappointing effort from the team as a whole.
This will be Du Plessis’ first outing in the Pakistan Super League and first visit to the country since he led an ICC World XI outfit in three matches against the hosts in 2017.
The four remaining matches of the 2020 PSL will all be played in Karachi. The city, on Pakistan’s coast, was chosen due to issues with smog in the northern locales.
“I am very excited to join Peshawar Zalmi for the playoff stage games of HBL PSL 2020. I have fond memories of playing in Pakistan when I toured with the ICC World XI in 2017 and I am sure this experience, although different due to COVID-19, will be a memorable one as well,” said Du Plessis.
The remaining PSL matches are to be played on 14, 15 and 17 November. Zalmi face the Lahore Qalanders in a playoff match on Saturday 14 November.
Pre-empting possible Proteas visit
Du Plessis’ input could very well influence the powers that be in their decision regarding whether or not to allow the Proteas to tour the country during the 2020/21 season.
Pakistan have successfully hosted two white-ball series against Zimbabwe this month, with all six matches taking place in the city of Rawalpindi.
The Proteas are scheduled to play a two-match Test series in Pakistan as part of the World Test Championship alongside three T20Is that will serve as preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup in India.
South Africa won the last Test series they played in Pakistan back in 2007, winning the first match thanks to a pair of centuries from Jacques Kallis and excellent bowling from Paul Harris and Dale Steyn.
Pakistan were forced into the international cricket wilderness by the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka team bus by extremist militants, however, since then the political landscape in the country has stabilised and over the last few years teams have begun to agree to return.
Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, the West Indies and Zimbabwe have all visited Pakistan.