Zimbabwe are set to offer a strong fight in the Tri-series T20 starting from Friday at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium with the match between them and hosts Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza, who is set to say goodbye to international cricket, said on the pre-match press conference that they are not behind Bangladesh and Afghansitan.
"We've played a few numbers of T20Is here in Bangladesh and we're confident to play a strong brand of cricket in the Tri-series, although the other two teams are also very good. We don't think we're far behind than them at all," Masakadza told the media on Thursday in the pre-series briefing.
Zimbabwe and Bangladesh played their first inaugural T20I in Bangladesh back in 2006. Since then, Zimbabwe played 10 T20Is in Bangladesh and won five of them. Masakadza believes this record demonstrates their capability of doing well in T20 cricket in Bangladesh.
Zimbabwe got the boost from the lone practice that they played against BCB XI on Wednesday and registered an inspiring win. There were Mushfiuqr Rahim, Sabbir Rahman, Afif Hossain, Yasin Arafat Mishu in the BCB XI, but they failed to beat Zimbabwe.
"It is good to have won the practice game. It'll surely boost our confidence. But we're aware of the fact that we'll face a more challenging game tomorrow," Masakadza added.
The participation of Zimbabwe was uncertain in this series because of their suspension from ICC. However, in the end, they got the chance due to utmost support of the Bangladesh board for them.
The 36-year-old batsman is all set to say goodbye to international cricket right after this series. Masakadza said it was a long and fruitful journey for him to play for Zimbabwe for almost two decades.
"I think it has been a long and fruitful career. And obviously there were ups and downs, but I thoroughly enjoyed every single moment. If I were given the choice to start over and do it again, I would have definitely grabbed those chances," Masakadza concluded.
The first match of the Tri-series will take place at 6:30pm at Sher-e-Bangla and Gtv will telecast the game live.
Zimbabwe squad for the Tri-series: Hamilton Masakadza (capt), Regis Chakabva, Richmond Mutumbami, Sean Williams, Neville Madziva, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, Tony Munyonga, Kyle Jarvis, Tendai Chatara, Christopher Mpofu, Craig Ervine, Brendan Taylor, Ainsley Ndlovu, Timycen Maruma, Ryan Burl.