Bangladesh’s quest for recognition as a significant world cricket force faces a tough examination on their tour of South Africa, which starts Thursday (21) with a three-day match against an invitation side.
Bangladesh will play two Test matches, three one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals.
They have lost by an innings in all four Tests they have played on two previous tours of South Africa, as well as losing six of seven one-day internationals and two Twenty20 internationals against the hosts.
The lone exception was an abandoned game on their most recent tour in 2008/09.
The tour itinerary indicates Bangladesh’s relatively lowly status as they will not play at any of South Africa’s major grounds.
The Tests are in Potchefstroom and Bloemfontein, which have hosted only one and four Tests respectively. Potchefstroom’s only previous Test, in the 2002/03 season, also involved Bangladesh.
The one-day and T20 matches will be at Kimberley, Paarl, East London, Bloemfontein and Potchefstroom, all infrequent international venues.
Bangladesh will be buoyed by a solid recent record, despite being without star all-rounder Shakib Al Hasan for the Tests.
Since former Sri Lankan batsman Chandika Hathurusingha took over as coach in 2014 they have gained some notable results, including Test wins against England, Sri Lanka and Australia.
They shared a rain-hit home series against South Africa in 2015.
They have recorded one-day wins against England, Pakistan, India, Sri Lanka and New Zealand during Hathurusingha’s tenure, while they beat South Africa 2-1 in a three-match series at home in 2015.
Their away record remains poor, however, despite a Test win against Sri Lanka in Colombo in March, and they will have to adapt quickly to the expected pace-friendly pitches in South Africa.
The team suffered a setback when they departed from Dhaka last Saturday (16) when fast bowler Rubel Hossain was prevented from boarding because he did not have an immigration clearance.
Bangladesh: Mushfiqur Rahim (capt/wkt), Tamim Iqbal, Soumya Sarkar, Imrul Kayes, Sabbir Rahman, Mohammad Mahmudullah, Liton Das (wkt), Mehidy Hasan, Taijul Islam, Mustafizur Rahman, Rubel Hossain, Shafiul Islam, Taskin Ahmed, Subashis Roy, Mominul Haque
Coach: Chandika Hathurusingha (SRI)
21-23: SA Invitation XI, Benoni
28-Oct 2: First Test, Potchefstroom
6-10: Second Test, Bloemfontein
12: SA Invitation XI, Bloemfontein
15: First ODI, Kimberley
18: Second ODI, Paarl
22: Third ODI, East London
26: First T20, Bloemfontein
29: Second T20, Potchefstroom