The Bangladesh cricket team will jet into the country tomorrow while the South Africans are expected on Sunday for the forthcoming unofficial tri-nation Twenty20 tournament which begins at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
The Mushfiqur Rahim-captained side is expected to take on the hosts’ select side in a warm-up match which has been slated for Country Club on Friday.
Bangladesh are then expected to take on Zimbabwe in the series’ first match at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
Zimbabwe Cricket head of media and communications Shingai Rhuhwaya confirmed the visiting teams’ itineraries in an interview with NewsDay Sport yesterday.
“The Bangladesh Cricket Board has confirmed to us that their national team will be arriving tomorrow afternoon (today).
“They will then hold their first training session on Thursday (tomorrow) before having a chance to play in local conditions for the first time during Friday’s warm-up match against Zimbabwe Select at Country club.
“South Africa have indicated that they will be arriving on Sunday since they will only be playing their first match on Tuesday next week when they take on Zimbabwe,” said Rhuhwaya.
The Tigers, as Bangladesh are affectionately referred to by their fans, will have very bitter memories of their last visit to Zimbabwe after losing the one-off Test and the ODI series in August last year.
In a clear sign that the Tigers are taking the series seriously, Rahim told a media conference before his team’s departure that they would not be banking too much on the series’ “unofficial” tag.
“We are playing against Zimbabwe and in their backyard. We don’t have fond memories of the last tour because we lost both the Test and the one-day series, so it’s an opportunity,” said Rahim.
“And playing South Africa so early before the World Cup is an opportunity as well. Definitely we will play for a win and try to give 100%.”
The upcoming 12-day tour will be a first tour with the Tigers for six individuals in the touring party: new coach Richard Pybus, all-rounder Ziaur Rahman, batsman Anamul Haque, left-arm spinner Elias Sunny, paceman Abul Hasan and bowling coach Shane Jurgensen. While both South Africa and Bangladesh have already finalised their squads, the identity of the 15 players who will form part of the Zimbabwe team remains a closely guarded secret.