Bangladesh ‘A’ touring Zimbabwe

The tour began at the Mutare Sports Club in the capital of the eastern province of Manicaland, with Bangladesh “A” taking on Zimbabwe “A” on the first day of their four-day match yesterday. The teams will have a two-day rest after the first match before playing their second four-dayer starting next Friday. Thereafter they will go to Bulawayo for another four-day match at Queens Sports Club. This one is scheduled for Friday the 30th of this month to Monday the third of next month.

Queens will also host three one-day games between Bangladesh “A” and Zimbabwe “A”. The first one-dayer is on Thursday the 6th of next month, the second on Saturday and the third on Sunday. The action will then move to the Midlands, for the final leg of the tour at Kwekwe Sports Club. There the two sides will play two one-day matches.

Hamilton Masakadza, then the youngest player in world Test cricket to do that when he scored a century on debut against the West Indies in Harare in 2001, is captaining the Zimbabwe “A” side, with fellow batsman Stuart Matsikenyeri as his deputy. The two are the most senior players in the Zimbabwe “A” squad as they have several senior caps under their belts. They are joined by bowler Christopher Mpofu as the only players in the squad to have represented Zimbabwe at senior level.

The Bangladeshi side includes a handful of players who have turned out for the Tigers. Zimbabweans will immediately recognise among this pack the 19-year old Mohammed Enamul Haque, who terrorised their senior batsmen with the ball the last time Zimbabwe was in Bangladesh. He took two wickets for 37 runs in 10 overs, when he made his debut in the second One Day International match against Zimbabwe, at the MA Azziz Stadium in Chittagong on the 24th of January last year. Zimbabwe went on to win that match by 31 runs to take a 2-nil lead of the 5-match ODI series but Enamul had made his presence felt.

Speaking at a welcome function for the Bangladesh “A” side in Mutare, Zimbabwe Cricket General Manager Wilfred Mukondiwa said while his organisation is friends with all cricket nations, its ties are strongest with counterparts in Asia.

“They have been genuine friends, not the fair weather variety that gives you an umbrella when the sun is shining and then takes it back just as the storm clouds start gathering,” he said, adding:

“Our relationship on the playing field has continued over the years as we have had several tour exchanges. In fact, Bangladeshi tours to Zimbabwe have an added dimension in that their first tour as a Full Member of the International Cricket Council was to Zimbabwe. It is against that background that we welcome the Bangladesh “A” team manager, coach, other technical staff, captain Imran Tushar and the rest of the players to Zimbabwe.”

The Governor and Resident Minister of Manicaland, the Honourable Tinaye Chigudu, also welcomed the Bangladesh “A” side, and invited them to enjoy the hospitality that Zimbabwe’s prime tourist zone of the Eastern Highlands offers.

July 2006
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