We have seen Bangladesh playing ample matches with Zimbabwe in all formats of the game.
When Bangladesh don't find other opponents to play, they turn to Zimbabwe.
So much so, that people sarcastically titled the Bangladesh-Zimbabwe battle in cricket as the 'Ashes of Minnows'.
But while Bangladesh have taken small steps to progress in the world of cricket, political and financial turmoil has taken its toll on Zimbabwe cricket.
Recently, Zimbabwean cricketer Ryan Burl posted an image of his ripped shoes on his official Twitter account.
The 27-year-old tagged a sports manufacturer on his post on Twitter and wrote, "Any chance we can get a sponsor so we don't have to glue our shoes back after every series?"
The tweet went viral and was noticed by sportswear giant Puma as the brand responded on Twitter.
In response, Burl thanked the brand for reaching out to him.
Though the gesture by Puma was appreciated by a lot of cricket enthusiasts on social media, it is learned that the entire episode has left the officials of Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) irked.
If reports are to be believed then some 'higher-ups' at Zimbabwe cricket feel that the instance has ruined the prestige of the organisation.
It makes sense because ZC are after all the employers of the players but players having issues with the board is not new in Zimbabwe cricket.
In 2020, a clash between the Zimbabwe board and its players arose due to the players' wages being cut during a Test series against Srilanka.
Prior to that, those players had gone on for months without pay and had threatened to go on strike.
This struggle is not new in Zimbabwean Cricket.
The rise of Zimbabwe cricket
If we look back, Zimbabwe cricket grew on and off the field in the 1980s.
Sponsors helped make concrete pitches in schools and provide proper cricket facilities there.
A member of England's coaching programme was brought out to run courses and develop black coaches in the community.
And in the mid-1990s a scholarship programme took the most talented youngsters to more privileged schools with better cricket facilities.
In the meantime, black players from wealthier backgrounds were coming through private schools.
Fast bowler Ethan Dube toured England in 1990 and would have become Zimbabwe's first black representative if not for injury.
In 1995, fast bowler Henry Olonga played in the country's first Test win and talented black players like Mpumelelo Mbangwa and Trevor Madondo debuted soon after.
Yet the national team remained almost exclusively white until the end of the millennium which is when the country began to change.
Mugabe's dictatorship and the fall of Zimbabwe cricket
The cricket association of Zimbabwe is controlled by the state.
Robert Mugabe, ex-President of Zimbabwe (since 1987) was also the 1st Prime Minister (1980–87) started out as an African nationalist and then turned into a full-fledged dictator.
He has been accused of economic mismanagement, corruption, anti-white, human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.
The opening match for Zimbabwe in the 2003 World Cup against Namibia in Harare was a significant one.
Two players, Andy Flower and Henry Olonga, decided to wear black armbands which they described as "mourning the death of democracy in Zimbabwe".
This was specifically indicated towards the Mugabe regime and its policies.
After that, Flower and Olonga never played again for Zimbabwe.
They were shamed by the local cricket body and the government and later settled in England where they played county cricket.
The situation only got worse from there for the players and cricket in Zimbabwe.
In 2006, the Logan Cup, Zimbabwe's first-class competition was suspended due to Zimbabwe's economic collapse and players not receiving their salaries for long periods.
When Zimbabwe failed to qualify for the 2019 World Cup, it was blamed on the coach Heath Streak that he favoured the white players even though Tatenda Taibu (a black former player from Zimbabwe) was in the coaching staff with him.
Players like Brendan Taylor and Solomon Mire chose county stints over the country because they were not paid properly and regularly by the board.
Also, in July 2019 ZC was suspended by the ICC after the board failed to ensure that there was no government interference in running the cricket body in the country. Cricket's global body during their meeting in London, issued a statement on Zimbabwe's immediate suspension after it was unanimously decided that the board had failed to fulfil their obligation to provide a process for transparent elections and to ensure that there is no interference from the government involved in its administration for cricket.
A clash between players and the board due to salaries not being paid and other politics are still very relevant in Zimbabwe Cricket.
ZC's financial situation has become so dire (in sync with the country's poor financial situation) that they have been forced to borrow money from ICC just to organise tournaments and keep the game afloat in Zimbabwe.
Cricket is not the most popular sport in Zimbabwe but the country had once shown a lot of promise and still is producing talented players.
If they can fix their political and financial problems, they can once again become a cricket team on the rise.