Sports, Cricket

Tigresses to tour Zimbabwe in Nov

Published : 16 Sep 2021 08:21 PM

Bangladesh are set to play a three-match ODI series against hosts Zimbabwe in November before the two sides enter the biobubble for the 10-team women's ODI World Cup Qualifier to be played in the African nation. The bilateral series will be Bangladesh's first international assignment since the T20 World Cup held in Australia in February-March last year.

"The Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) and Zimbabwe Cricket have had talks regarding this series and it was decided our women's team will be play three ODIs against Zimbabwe ahead of the World Cup Qualifier," ShafiulAlam Chowdhury Nadel, the head of BCB's women cricket wing told ESPNcricinfo. "We have stuck to just the ODI matches for the bilateral series because the qualifier are in the one-day format and it will serve as an important preparatory exercise for our team in terms of getting match time before the qualifier."

Since the 2020 T20 World Cup, where Bangladesh were eliminated in the league stage, the only top-flight competitive cricket the players took part in was in April, when the South Africa Emerging side had toured Sylhet for a five-game one-day series. The fifth match, however, was cancelled "to accommodate the visiting side's return home before the suspension of international flight operations" following a Covid-19-induced lockdown in Bangladesh," a BCB release said at the time.

Asked about Bangladesh's protracted time away from international cricket, stretching to 18 months at present, Nadel said: "We had been trying to organise tours for Bangladesh Women for a long time, but our plans didn't come off. The coronavirus pandemic was a reason but we came across hurdles arising from issues related to sports and social-cultural perceptions that exist in the subcontinent - I won't name the countries but we didn't agree to conduct tours with a few of them because of this reason.

"Unfortunately, roadblocks continue to exist around women's sport, related to prevailing gender inequality, even though we continue to work to eradicate them. The investment required to create a biobubble is significant for a women's team; we often don't get that from our sponsors. Sponsors and investors expect mileage out of every series they invest in, and against that backdrop, that doesn't seem to be possible now (with thewomen's side), so the matches against Zimbabwe is all we have been able to finalise."