Eddie Chikamhi, Harare Bureau
THE Zimbabwe Test cricket squad is expected to land in Bangladesh today ahead of a rare multi-format series set to begin next week.
The Chevrons are returning to Bangladesh 15 months after they last toured the shores for a Test series that ended in a 1-1 stalemate.
The team left Harare yesterday with a contingent of 15 players led by coach Lalchand Rajput.
Zimbabwe will play all three formats of the game against their opponents beginning with the one off Test on February 22 at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium in Dhaka.
Rajput’s men will warm up for the upcoming Test when they face the Bangladesh Cricket Board XI in a two-day practice match scheduled to begin next Tuesday at Bangladesh Krira Shikkha Protishtan.
The selection to face the tourists in this game is yet to be announced by BCB who are still focused on the Bangladesh Cricket League currently playing in the country.
After the Test, both teams will travel to Sylhet to the play the ODI series.
Sadly, Zimbabwe captain Sean Williams was not part of the travelling squad yesterday.
The all-rounder will miss the Test match as he has remained home to be with his wife for the birth of their first child.
In his absence, Craig Ervine will captain the team for the one-off Test match.
Williams is only expected to join the Zimbabwe team for the three-match one-day international series against Bangladesh pencilled for March 1, 3 and 6 in Syhlet.
The tour will end with Zimbabwe and Bangladesh meeting in two Twenty20 international games set for March 9 and 11 in Dhaka.
Bangladesh also face their own setbacks as top-order batsman Soumya Sarkar has been ruled out of the one-off Test.
Besides the lone Test, the 26-year-old will also not feature in the opening ODI of the three-match series against Zimbabwe because of marriage commitments.
Bangladesh chief selector Minhajul Abedin confirmed the news about Sarkar’’s absence.
Fast bowler Al-Amin Hossain is also doubtful for the Test as he is still recovering from a sore back.
The duo’s absence will serve as a huge blow for the hosts, who are already missing the services of their star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan due to his one-year suspension over violation of the sport’s anti-corruption code.
Zimbabwe Test squad
Sikandar Raza Butt, Regis Chakabva (wicketkeeper), Craig Ervine (captain), Kevin Kasuza, Timycen Maruma, Prince Masvaure, Christopher Mpofu, Brian Mudzinganyama, Carl Mumba, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Ainsley Ndlovu, Victor Nyauchi, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Charlton Tshuma