Series will mark a watershed for both sides December 27, 2004

Bangladesh reveal revised dates for Zimbabwe's tour

Cricinfo staff

The revised itinerary for Zimbabwe's tour of Bangladesh has been revealed by the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB).

Zimbabwe will fly to Dhaka on December 28, two days earlier than planned, and they will then go on to Chittagong the same day for the start of a 33-day tour. This will be Zimbabwe's first full tour since the International Cricket Council temporarily suspended them in April this year.

Two Tests and five one-day internationals are scheduled against the hosts Bangladesh. Zimbabwe will open their tour with a three-day warm-up game against a BCB XI at the newly built Chittagong Divisional Stadium on January 1 ahead of the first Test at the MA Aziz Stadium which starts on January 6.

The first Test was originally scheduled to be held at the Chittagong Divisional Stadium, but the venue was switched as there were insufficient broadcast and media facilities.

Zimbabwe's 16-man squad includes Hamilton Masakadza, who hasn't played Test cricket for more than two years. 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.

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's squad will be whittled down to 13, and will be announced on January 2.

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.