The Zimbabwe national cricket team will have a busy summer this year with two outgoing tours after the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) announced that they have moved the two nations’ series that was originally scheduled for January next year to October this year.
By Kevin Mapasure
Zimbabwe will engage with Bangladesh for two Tests and three One-Day Internationals in a tour that comes soon after their visit to South Africa, where they will play limited overs cricket.
In South Africa, Zimbabwe will play the Proteas in three ODIs and the same number of T-20 Internationals.
The tough tour to South Africa will help prepare Zimbabwe for Bangladesh, a place they have struggled at in recent years.
BCB decided to move the series so that it will not have to clash with general elections in that country next year.
“Apart from the West Indies, we’ve also confirmed the Zimbabwe series in October,” said BCB chief executive officer Nizamuddin Chowdhury. “They (Zimbabwe) will play two Tests and three ODIs. It means we will now play back-to-back series this year.”
The Zimbabwe tour dates have not yet been announced. But it is likely that the squad will head straight to Bangladesh from South Africa where they will play their final match on October 14.
They have three ODIs scheduled for September 30, October 3 and 6. The three T-20s will be played on October 9, 12 and 14.
Zimbabwe last played Test cricket when they hosted West Indies in October last year and it will be a year since they last played that format when they take on Bangladesh.
Besides the lack of game time, Zimbabwe are also struggling with administrative problems that have seen some of the best players withdraw their services.
The players, who are owed money in salaries and allowances, are pressing for payment, which Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) has failed to honour.
Former captain Brendan Taylor, Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, and Sikandar Raza were all not available for Zimbabwe’s T-20 tri-series against Pakistan and Australia.
Malcolm Waller, who played in that series, withdrew from the squad on the eve of the five-match ODI series against Pakistan in which Zimbabwe was whitewashed.
ZC hopes that by the time they tour South Africa, all issues would have been resolved.
Raza missed the recent series, having chosen to play in a T-20 tournament in Canada instead, and has hinted that he is ready to re-engage ZC and play for Zimbabwe again.