ZIMBABWE have extended their tour of Bangladesh to include two unofficial “Test” matches.
The tour initially involved a
best-of-five one-day international series as well as a Twenty20 curtain-raiser set for Khulna on Tuesday.
Zimbabwe Cricket managing director Ozias Bvute yesterday confirmed they had agreed with their Bangladeshi counterparts on a new itinerary for the tour to include a three-dayer and a four-dayer.
“We have agreed with the Bangladesh board to play two longer-version games after the ODIs,” Bvute told IndependentSport.
Zimbabwe Cricket operations manager Chris Chiketa confirmed the additional fixtures, with the three-day game scheduled for December 11 to 13, while the four-dayer has been pencilled in for December 15 to 18.
Bvute said Zimbabwe coach Kevin Curran will return home after the ODI series and will be replaced for the “Tests” by Andy Pycroft.
“Pycroft will fly to Bangladesh because they will now be playing as Zimbabwe A which he is in charge of,” Bvute said.
The selection panel will drop and replace “three or four” players after the ODIs.
Zimbabwe are set to resume Test cricket in November 2007, at home to West Indies, after a two-year time-off forced by the flight of experienced players.
Zimbabwe Cricket officially launched a comprehensive calendar for the season in an effort to revive domestic cricket. Several first-class fixtures have also been planned for Zimbabwe A as the country prepares for the Test return.
“The two Zimbabwe A games in Bangladesh are part of our efforts to expose the players to as much tough competition as possible before we resume our Test commitments next year,” Bvute said.
Meanwhile Zimbabwe arrived in Bangladesh yesterday eager for a successful return to the subcontinent after they were humbled by the Tigers at last month’s ICC Champions Trophy in India.
Zimbabwe will also be eager to prove their home series victory against Bangladesh in August was no fluke.
The two sides meet in their first ever international Twenty20 on Tuesday at Khulna before facing off in the first ODI at the same venue two days later.
The second and third ODIs are slated for Bogra on December 3 and 5, before action moves to Fatullah for the last two games of the series on December 8 and 9.
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