Zimbabwe squad announced December 8, 2004

Masakadza puts sport before studies

Cricinfo staff

Hamilton Masakadza: hoping for less of this in Bangladesh © Getty Images
Hamilton Masakadza, who hasn't played Test cricket for more than two years, has been included in Zimbabwe's 16-man squad to tour Bangladesh later this month.

Masakadza made a hundred on his debut against West Indies in 2001, when aged 18, but stopped playing serious cricket at the end of 2002 when he started at university in South Africa. He was a surprise inclusion in the one-day side which recently played England but, after struggling for any form, he came good in the final match with his maiden one-day half-century.

The rest of the squad is fairly predictable, with only Terrence Duffin and Graeme Cremer new to a set-up which is beginning to look more settled after the shake-up earlier in the year. However, the omissions of Vusi Sibanda, Alester Maregwede, Tawanda Mupariwa and Blessing Mahwire might raise a few eyebrows.

The Test series in Bangladesh is a real watershed for both sides. For Bangladesh, it represents a chance for them to prove that they have what it takes and end their dismal record of 29 defeats and no wins in 32 Tests. Zimbabwe need success to prove that the new-look side is not a threat to the integrity of Test cricket, as critics have claimed.

Zimbabwe squad Dion Ebrahim, Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Barney Rogers, Stuart Matsikenyeri, Mark Vermeulen, Tatenda Taibu (capt/wk), Elton Chigumbura, Tinashe Panyangara, Edward Rainsford, Douglas Hondo, Christopher Mpofu, Mluleki Nkala, Graeme Cremer, Prosper Utseya, Terrence Duffin.