Bangladesh included in Zimbabwe tri-series
Bangladesh have been included in a Twenty20 tri-series in Zimbabwe, which will also feature South Africa, in June. Ozias Bvute, Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) managing director, confirmed to ESPNcricinfo that Bangladesh will take part, while the Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) said they only needed the ratification of their board before regarding the matter as finalised.
"We have put forward such a request [to play in Zimbabwe] and as far as we are concerned, we have received positive feedback. We are awaiting an approval from our board," BCB cricket operations manager, Sabbir Khan said.
The assignment will be Stuart Law's final one in charge of the national team. Law announced his resignation last month but said he would see out his contract, which runs until the end of June. Bangladesh are already in the process of interviewing a replacement, with Richard Pybus considered the frontrunner.
The series will come as welcome relief to Bangladesh who have suffered two setbacks in their quest to play more cricket recently and were not due to play any international matches before the World T20 in September. Their August series against Zimbabwe, which was due to consist of two Test matches, was postponed because of maintenance work in Harare and Bulawayo.
Bangladesh's proposal to Cricket South Africa (CSA) for a limited-overs series in May was turned down. South Africa's busy schedule and the logistical problems in finding a place to host the matches were the chief reasons for CSA declining Bangladesh's offer. CSA did not have a problem with Bangladesh's participation in Zimbabwe in June though, provided it did not alter their initial plans.
"We said we would not have an issue if Bangladesh joins us as long as it does not disrupt our schedule," South Africa team manager Mohammed Moosajee said. "We cannot spend longer than a week in Zimbabwe because we leave for England after that."
Gary Kirsten, South Africa head coach, requested five Twenty20s in five days against Zimbabwe as part of his preparations for the World T20. South Africa arrive in Zimbabwe on June 18 and are scheduled to play the five fixtures from June 20 to 24. Although, the dates for their trip will not change, itinerary of matches might change to accommodate Bangladesh. "We might have a rest day in between or something like that but as long as we play the number of matches we wanted to, that's fine with us," Moosajee said.
Despite the addition of Bangladesh, the series will remain an unofficial one with the matches classed as practice matches only. It is also unlikely to be televised as per ZC's financial considerations. Bangladesh are likely to head to Europe in July to play five ODIs.
Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent