Tri-nation series, Bangladesh, Zimbabwe, BCB, Hamilton Masakadza
Masakadza expects a tough challenge from Bangladesh, who are coming off a morale-crushing Test defeat to Afghanistan. @ AFP

Senior Zimbabwe batsman Hamilton Masakadza has expressed gratitude towards Bangladesh Cricket Board (BCB) for giving the opportunity to his side to play cricket again. Masakadza, who retires after the upcoming tri-nation series in Bangladesh, made the comments on the backdrop of Zimbabwe’s suspension by the ICC – which prevents the country from playing in any ICC tournaments, but can participate in bilateral or trilateral events.

“Bangladesh have shown a lot of support to us. We are very grateful to the Bangladesh Cricket Board that they have given us the opportunity to play cricket again,” Masakadza told reporters on Tuesday at Mirpur.

“Important thing is now we are playing and looking forward to get back on the field and playing again,” he added.

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The 36-year-old Masakadza expects a tough challenge from Bangladesh, who are coming off a morale-crushing Test defeat to Afghanistan.

“T20 is obviously played in different conditions. In Test cricket, toss plays an important role. T20 cricket is played on much better wickets and is a shorter format, so we can expect a tough challenge,” said Masakadza.

“I am not surprised at Afghanistan’s performance. On this kind of a wicket, winning the toss helps you in winning the game because they have got quality spinners,” he said.

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He hopes Zimbabwe makes it to the final as he reckons T20 format suits them the best. “Obviously, we want to make it to the final because this is our strongest suit. The guys are really confident and upbeat about the chances.

“We have some success here as well. Chances are very high but obviously we will be playing against two high quality teams and we want to go all the way,” he said.

Masakadza, who made his debut in 2001, will bring the curtains down on his 18-year-old international career. Quizzed if he has made plans after retirement, he said: “Definitely it has been a long tough road for me. Enjoyed every moment representing my country. Still a work in progress but I want to slow down. Next series is after the T20 World Cup early next year, so I wanted to step down and focus on myself.”