ZIMBABWE’S cricket team begin their much anticipated tour of Bangladesh with a three-day practice match at the Khan Shaheb Osman Ali Stadium in Fatullah, ahead of the start of the opening Test in Dhaka on Saturday.
The Stephen Mangongo-coached side arrived in Bangladesh on Friday to play their first Test series in the subcontinent nation after nearly a decade. The two sides will take part in a five-match one-day international series.
The last time Zimbabwe played a Test series in Bangladesh was back in January 2005 when the Tigers won the two-match series 1-0. The 24-member contingent landed at the Hazrat Shah Jalal International Airport in Dhaka on Friday before going through a test for the Ebola virus.
After the completion of the customary procedure, the visitors headed for the Pan Pacific Sonargaon which will be their base for the next few weeks in Dhaka. Led by Brendan Taylor, Zimbabwe will be hoping to use today’s warm-up match to acclimatise to the subcontinent conditions before the series begins on Saturday.
The teams will then lock horns in the first Test at the Sher-e-Bangla National Stadium in Mirpur from October 25.
Zimbabwe will be buoyed by the fact that a number of players from their players in the current squad toured Bangladesh last month to play two four-day matches and three one-day games representing the Zimbabwe A team.
Uncapped players Brian Chari and Wellington Masakadza for instance, had a good outing in that tour. Top order batsman, Chari, was the top-scorer for Zimbabwe A, in the four-day matches while Masakadza’s slow-left armers troubled a number of Bangladeshi batsmen.
Wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva, Malcolm Waller and Vusi Sibanda are the few players who were in the Zimbabwe A team in that series.