Zim moots B’desh, Pakistan triangular

Zimbabwe and Bangladesh’s One-Day International series in April is likely to be converted to a triangular series with the involvement of Pakistan if
ongoing discussions between boards from the three countries bear fruit.

Kevin Mapasure

The talks are already at an advanced stage for the series which will be hosted in Zimbabwe ahead of the country’s two-Test series against Bangladesh.

Zimbabwe will open their 2013 calendar with a tour to the West Indies next week where they are scheduled to play the hosts in two Tests, three ODIs and two T-20s.

Upon return, the team will be kept busy by another T-20 championship before hosting the two nations.

Pakistan and Bangladesh were scheduled to tour Zimbabwe late last year but both tours were shelved, causing a congestion of fixtures this year which the three boards are working to solve.

“There are talks going on between the respective boards so that we can have a triangular series in April,” said a ZC insider. “It has not been finalised as yet, but this is something all three boards are interested in and a few issues just have to be tied up.”

Pakistan is currently engaged in South Africa where it has found the going tough against a high-riding Proteas side.

After the Bangladesh Tests is India who have three ODIs scheduled in June, while Sri Lanka are set to visit later in the year for a full tour.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are set for T-20 World Cup 2014 qualifiers in the revised format of the tournament announced by the International Cricket Council last week.

Next year’s competition will feature 16 teams with six teams that will qualify from a preliminary qualifying tournament, joining the 10 full-member nations in Bangladesh.

Before the tournament proper erupts, the six affiliate nations will be joined by the hosts and Zimbabwe in a pre-tournament qualifier where two nations will win the right to join the other eight nations.

The format of this preliminary qualifier has not yet been announced but the likes of Ireland will see this as an opportunity to show they can play better than some full members as they have argued in the past.

But on the other hand, it affords little opportunity for the smaller nations to play the big boys.

The 2012 edition featured two associate members Afghanistan and Ireland after they had emerged as runners-up and champions in the qualifiers, but in the new format there could be no associate member in the tournament proper.

Last year’s edition featured four groups of three teams with two qualifying to the next stage, but it is unclear what will happen after the extra qualifiers in Bangladesh which will leave 10 nations in contention.

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