Bangladesh set for punishing safari

The dates for Bangladesh's tour of Kenya and Zimbabwe have now been agreed, and the schedule is a punishing one for the Bangladeshis, with eight ODIs in 18 days.

They arrive in Nairobi on July 15 and play three ODIs between July 19 and 23. The matches were brought forward by two days as the Kenyans had been scheduled to leave for Canada, where they play an Intercontinental Cup tie at the end of the month, on the evening of July 25.

From Nairobi the Bangladesh side head south to Zimbabwe on July 26, where they have five ODIs in eight days at venues yet to be confirmed. It is understood that negotiations are ongoing between the two boards over the exact schedule.

Cricinfo has learned that the Zimbabweans had tried to postpone the tour until September as many of their first-choice players are out of the country, most playing club cricket in the UK. But Bangladesh, who have kept all their first-team squad on stand-by, made clear that this was not an option under the terms of the Future Tours Program.

The back-to-back itinerary is probably in part due to the need for the Zimbabwe players to be in and out as quickly as possible to enable them to honour their club commitments.

The full Bangladesh tour to Zimbabwe will be preceded by a five-week visit by their A-team.