Kenya and Zimbabwe invited to take part January 18, 2006

Bangladesh offer to host March tri-series

The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) has announced that it is prepared to host a one-day series against one or both of Kenya and Zimbabwe in March.

A short press release from the board on Tuesday to that effect caught the Kenyan Cricket Association by surprise. A KCA spokesman said that it had not as yet been notified. Cricinfo contacted Zimbabwe Cricket for a response but at the time of writing had not had a reply.

The BCB statement said that it would host a tour between March 10 and 24. Although this would clash with Kenya's proposed ICC Intercontinental Cup tie against Holland, the ICC has indicated that should Kenya arrange an ODI against a Full Member then it would allow the Intercontinental tie to be rescheduled.

It appears unlikely that Zimbabwe would entertain the idea of taking part in a tri-series. They have more than enough problems at the moment and their priority has to be to try to get a side to the Caribbean in April rather than take on an additional commitment they might not be able to fulfil.

The ICC, especially Malcolm Speed, has been working hard behind the scenes to try to get Full Member countries to agree to play Kenya, but this has proved far from straightforward. Bangladesh are the first to make a concrete proposal, although it is reported that Pakistan might offer to host a short three-ODI tour in April.

The idea of a tri-series involving these three countries was raised last June at the ICC annual meeting in London and at that time was provisionally scheduled for November. That was put back to February and it has to be hoped that the latest announcement means that it will finally happen, with or without Zimbabwe.

Martin Williamson is managing editor of Cricinfo