Zimbabwe have suffered a setback ahead of their Bangladesh tour later this month with news that Terrence Duffin, the left-hand top-order batsman, has been ruled out of the tour due to a hand injury. Duffin is set to undergo an operation to repair torn ligaments on his left hand in Bulawayo on Monday and will be out for up to six weeks after the procedure.

He picked up the injury when a bouncer bowled by South African fast bowler Makhaya Ntini struck him on the left hand during the first one-day international match between Zimbabwe and South Africa at Goodyear Park in Bloemfontein in September. Duffin played in all the three matches in the series and scored 88, his highest score in the shorter version of the game in the last match of the series.

Duffin,24, was sent back home from the Champions Trophy because of a separate illness and was replaced by Gary Brent. Duffin was part of the squad that went into camp last Monday in Harare but he started feeling pain on the hand and went to see a specialist in Bulawayo. He returned into camp but the pain got worse to a stage where he could not even hold a bat and he was advised to undergo an operation.

A solid top-order batsman, Duffin made his < href="/zimbabwe/engine/match/219062.html">Test debut against India at Queens Sports Club in September last year and became the fifth Zimbabwean batsman to score a half-century on debut.

In February this year, yet to play an ODI, Duffin was a surprise choice for the captaincy for Zimbabwe's five-match series against Kenya. He went on to score a half-century in his first match at Queens.

Duffin lost the captaincy to off spinner Prosper Utseya on eve of Zimbabwe's home one-day series against Bangladesh. His technique has been criticised because he takes ages to get off the mark which is not suitable for one-day cricket but because Zimbabwe do not have any decent batsmen, he has been given a continued run in the team.Meanwhile fast bowler Edward Rainsford is another cause for concern for Kevin Curran, the coach, after he cracked his finger taking a catch during a practice match. He has been ruled out for three weeks but should be fit for the Bangladesh tour.

Keith Dabengwa and Sean Williams, left-handed allrounders, and Christopher Mpofu, the pace bowler, have been outstanding in the practice matches between the national players and Zimbabwe A and chances are high they make it in the final traveling squad for Bangladesh. Mluleki Nkala, back in action after a long lay off because of a nagging ankle injury, has also impressed Curran with his batting and considering that Zimbabwe's batsmen had a terrible time in India, Nkala might be drafted in as a batsman.