Zimbabwe's cricketers have had just three days of international cricket in 2014 and their drought of match experience is set to continue as the A team's tour to Bangladesh, scheduled for later this month, has been postponed.
"The tour is being rescheduled. We haven't come to a definite date yet, but it is being worked on," BCB's acting CEO Nizamuddin Chowdhury said. ESPNcricinfo understands the Bangladesh board decided to move the dates because of the monsoon season and invited Zimbabwe to tour in July-August but ZC had to refuse the offer because it will be hosting South Africa and Australia at that time. The two countries are considering scheduling the tour in September.
A source within Zimbabwe Cricket revealed the tour may not happen at all after being deferred: "The whole purpose of going to Bangladesh was to have a look at players for the South Africa and Australia matches. Besides some domestic cricket, the players haven't had much time on the field so they really needed something before the incoming tours."
Zimbabwe's long hiatus from Test and ODI cricket has stretched back to last September when they hosted Pakistan for two Tests. Their only other international outing was the World T20 in Bangladesh. They have also had disruptions in domestic cricket. A player strike which lasted through December and January kept domestic cricketers off the field for two months mid-season which has led to concerns they are well short of match-practice.
This was the reason Zimbabwe were keen on the A tour of Bangladesh before hosting South Africa for a one-off Test and three ODIs in August and a seven-match tri-series involving South Africa and Australia. Although the fixtures for the tour were not released, Zimbabwe A were due to play two four-day games and three one-day games in Bangladesh.
Their squad had begun training for the visit to Bangladesh and included several players hoping to stake a claim for the national side. The selectors had recalled batsman Mark Vermeulen, named Test caps Regis Chakabva, Malcolm Waller, Tino Mawoyo, Shingi Masakadza, Timycen Maruma in the four-day squads and Sikandar Raza and Forster Mutizwa for the limited-overs leg of the tour. Preparations for the tour began last week but were suspended on Monday.