Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe: This is an interesting fixture as it pits two teams with very contrasting styles of play and characters. First, we have Zimbabwe, a cricketing powerhouse, who have never won a match against a top-level team. Ever since their signing of the International Cricket Council (ICC) contract in February 2021, Zimbabwe has won all four matches, outraging many expectations. However, this impressive record has not deterred the team or their coach Makhaya Kumaragiri from dreaming of great things for his team. “Zimbabwe can win the world cup,” he has repeatedly stated.
Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe are also another fascinating clash, which promises to be even more competitive than the aforementioned. The Zimbabwean team is arguably one of the youngest in world cricket, having only a combined age of fifty-two. This is particularly true of the selectors, who are likely to select inexperienced players, including debutants like Mazuragi Akhtar, who is not known quantities at overseas levels. However, Bangladesh is an experienced outfit, who have steadily improved their game over the last few years, winning a huge majority of their matches at home. If anything, the experience of Bangladesh players to this point is second to none, having played almost twice as many matches at the international level than Zimbabwe.
Given the contrasting styles of play, this match promises to be an extremely high class affair, with both sides doing nearly everything in their power to win. In fact, given the sheer number of matches played between these two teams, Bangladesh has a huge advantage in terms of scheduling, while Zimbabwe’s limited resources mean that this is possibly the only opportunity they have to secure a series victory. As with all cricketing clashes, the wicket keepers are probably going to be under the microscope most closely. Some will certainly be doubtful of the selection process, given that all the selections have to be based on performance, but it has been a long time since anyone other than Kumar Sangakkara and veteran opener Azharullah was chosen to start for Bangladesh.
With Bangladesh hosting Zimbabwe in the first ever T20I fixture, this clash represents much more than just a chance to see how skilled an opponent Bangladesh are, or whether their bowling methods match up to that of their larger neighbours. For many fans, this clash represents an opportunity to witness a rare occurrence; a chance to watch an all-out battle of pure cricketing heart and soul, pitting the two sides against each other in what is likely to be an extremely high-scoring affair. While there are no guarantees as to who will win this vital fixture, there is little doubt that this clash offers a chance to view some of the finest cricketing action seen in early October. This is also the first official test cricket match to be played in Bangladesh since the team was granted access to the new Bangladesh Cricket Stadium in December 2021.
Both teams will begin the game in a highly controlled atmosphere that has been arranged by the PCB. The match is scheduled to begin at a selected time on the stroke of noon local time, so fans will need to make themselves available for lunch at either the Bangladesh Sports Hub or the Sports Authority of Zimbabwe. The venue is chosen to ensure all Bangladesh fans can be present, and the match is also likely to be broadcast live on MSN and Cricbuzz websites. The matches will conclude with a four-hour break before another day of cricket at the PMI. This is yet another incentive to bring fans back to Bangladesh in the months leading up to the anniversary of the opening of the new stadium.
Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe have the potential to provide one of the biggest international cricket matches ever staged in the country, and for this reason the timing of the fixture has been chosen carefully. Bangladesh are scheduled to play a four-day match starting on the morning of July first year, and the final day will be followed by one day of practice and another day of fixtures. All four days will see both teams play each other to determine who finishes top. The four-day fixture will therefore feature three Tests and two One-Day Internationals. Given how unpredictable Bangladesh can be away from home, and how eager fans have been to see their side play out the four-day match, it is not surprising that the organizers have made this fixture a go ahead with a view to guarantee the attendance of the major international fixtures and to increase the television audience in Bangladesh by offering a choice to air the matches either on local channels or across the world on the ESPN networks.
The venues for these fixtures have traditionally been in the northern part of Bangladesh. However due to the sudden growth of the Indian community in Bangladesh, and the subsequent immigration and settling of many of them into the city of Dhaka, there has been an increased demand for cricket venues in Bangladesh in the capital city of Bangladesh as well as other major cities in the country. Dhaka is home to the only three of the top cricketing nations of the world – India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. This, coupled with the fact that the matches tend to be played on Saturday evenings, and Sundays, has meant that the demand for daytime matches is generally low during the course of a season, resulting in lower ticket prices for fans. However, the arrival of the Twenty20 tournament in March, and the increased demand for tickets, saw the Dhaka dome has become an increasingly popular place for fans to watch matches and enjoy their nightlife.
The final day of the season, whether it be the champions winning match or a lower level team qualifying for the tournament, will see tens of thousands of fans taking to the streets in support of their team. The final day of the season is normally a very hectic time for fans and players alike. With the crowds, the pressure and the thrill of competition will often see players go home with what they believe to be unnecessary injuries. This has led to many teams in Bangladesh, especially the ones battling for promotion, trying to book all possible tickets for this date as well as other dates in the season so that they can fully utilize the away stand. A few days later, in Bangladesh versus Zimbabwe, the fans will once again put their heart and soul into the match as the two sides prepare to face each other in what should be a sensational encounter at the national stadium.