Moeen Ali and his England team-mates will fly home from the UAE today but there will be little time for family reunions before the next challenge of this hectic winter gets underway.
There is only a nine day gap between the squad, coaches and backroom staff – including former Worcestershire skipper Phil Neale – landing back in England after the matches in all three formats against Pakistan and then taking to the air again on December 11 for the tour of South Africa.
Two weeks today England will be back in action in the first of two three-day matches against a South African Invitational X1 ahead of the first Test which starts on Boxing Day.
England will play four Tests, five One-Day Internationals and two Twenty20 Internationals before flying home after the final game on February 21.
Then there is barely any respite before the ICC World T20 tournament gets underway in India in March.
The full South African tour schedule is:
December 11: England arrive in SA
December 15-17: SA Invitation XI v England, Senwes Park, Potchefstroom
December 20-22: SA Invitation XI v England, Pietermaritzburg Oval
December 26-30: 1st Sunfoil Test match, Sahara Stadium Kingsmead, Durban
January 2-6: 2nd Sunfoil Test match, Newlands, Cape Town
January 14-18: 3rd Sunfoil Test match, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
January 22-26: 4th Sunfoil Test match, SuperSport Park, Centurion
January 30: 1-day tour match, Diamond Oval, Kimberley
February 3: 1st Momentum ODI, Chevrolet Park, Bloemfontein
February 6: 2nd Momentum ODI, St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth
February 9: 3rd Momentum ODI, SuperSport Park, Centurion
February 12: 4th Momentum ODI, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
February 14: 5th Momentum ODI, Newlands, Cape Town
February 17: T20 tour match, SA Invitation XI v England, Boland Park, Paarl
February 19: 1st KFC T20 International, Newlands, Cape Town
February 21: 2nd KFC T20 International, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg