Zimbabwe's Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC) has given Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) permission to host Bangladesh in July despite a government directive to suspend all sporting activity in the country as part of measures aimed at containing Covid-19.
The tour will consist of one Test, three ODIs and three T20Is. All matches will take place behind closed doors in Harare.
This will be the second men's international series Zimbabwe will host since the pandemic began, after successfully staging two Tests and three T20s against Pakistan in April. Zimbabwe have also hosted the Pakistan women's side and the South Africa A side, although both those series were cut short.
The Pakistan women's side left Zimbabwe because of flight restrictions while the South African A team left before completing their second four-day fixture last week when stricter restrictions were introduced. At the time, ZC petitioned the SRC to allow the match to be completed, and they agreed, but South Africa A had already departed the country.
Zimbabwe's Covid-19 infection rate has remained relatively low, with less than 50,000 cases in the country to date but numbers are on the rise. Restrictions are in place in several districts in the country, including a ban on all gatherings, while schools also remain closed. However, several industries are allowed to continue operating, including professional sport, with a small Olympics contingent continuing to prepare for the Tokyo Games, and the national cricket team now gearing up to play Bangladesh.
The tour will begin with a Test match from July 7-11 followed by three ODIs which form part of the World Cup Super League. Bangladesh are currently at the top of the table, with 50 points from nine matches, while Zimbabwe are at the bottom, with 10 points from three matches. The top eight teams will automatically qualify for the 2023 World Cup, while the rest will go through to a qualifying event. Zimbabwe hosted the qualifier for the 2019 World Cup, and missed out on the showpiece event. The tour will conclude with three T20Is.
Zimbabwe and Bangladesh last met in March 2020 when Zimbabwe traveled to Bangladesh. Zimbabwe lost all the matches on that tour: one Test, three ODIs and two T20Is. Bangladesh were last in Zimbabwe in April and May 2013. They drew the Test series 1-1, won the ODIs 2-1 and drew the T20I series 1-1.