LAHORE: Pakistan cricket team departed for South Africa in wee hours of Wednesday. Leg-spinner Yasir Shah will join the team on December 20 due to personal reasons. Sarfraz Ahmad will lead the side, who open the tour with the first Test at Centurion from December 26. The second Test will be played at Cape Town from January 3 to 7 next year, while the third and final match is in Johannesburg from January 11 to 15. Pakistan will also play five one-day internationals and three T20Is on the tour. Fast bowler Mohammad Amir is back in the squad after being dropped from the recently concluded series against New Zealand in the United Arab Emirates. Also making comebacks are leg-spinner Shadab Khan, and openers Fakhar Zaman and Shan Masood. Backup wicketkeeper to Sarfraz, Mohammad Rizwan, has also returned to the squad after his consistent performance in domestic cricket and for Pakistan ‘A’. Pakistan squad for South Africa Tests: Imam-ul-Haq, Fakhar Zaman, Shan Masood, Azhar Ali, Haris Sohail, Asad Shafiq, Babar Azam, Sarfraz Ahmed (captain and wicketkeeper), Mohammad Rizwan (wk), Yasir Shah, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Abbas, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Amir, Faheem Ashraf, Shaheen AfridiSouth Africa vs Pakistan 2018-19 fixturesDecember 19-21: SA Invitation XI, Benoni December 26-30: First Test, CenturionJanuary 3-7: Second Test, Cape Town January 11-15: Third Test, JohannesburgJanuary 19: First ODI, Port ElizabethJanuary 22: Second ODI, DurbanJanuary 25: Third ODI, CenturionJanuary 27: Fourth ODI, JohannesburgJanuary 30: Fifth ODI, Cape TownFebruary 1: First T20I, Cape TownFebruary 3: Second T20I, JohannesburgFebruary 6: Third T20I, Centurion.Published in Daily Times, December 13th 2018.