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Chibhabha and his lockdown anguish

For cricketer Chamu Chibhabha’s young family, sleep has been alien during the last couple of weeks.

Cricketer Chamu Chibhabha and his young family. The Zimbabwe Chevrons’ skipper and his wife Natsai Dovi recently welcomed their third child.
Cricketer Chamu Chibhabha and his young family. The Zimbabwe Chevrons’ skipper and his wife Natsai Dovi recently welcomed their third child.

This is because the Zimbabwe Chevrons’ skipper and his wife Natsai Dovi recently welcomed their third child.

And Kelani Chibhabha, born on December 17, has reportedly been a handful.

“We recently welcomed the latest addition to the family, a baby girl, and she has been keeping us busy.

“You know how it is with newborns, you don’t get a lot of sleep,” Chibhabha said.

Little Kelani, the pandemic and subsequent lockdown, the inactivity, and the recent announcement that the Chevrons have been given the green light to fulfill the fixture against Afghanistan have all given Chibhabha a lot to think about.

However, the lockdown has given the Chevrons’ opener time to spend with his family and time to gather his thoughts and do some introspection.

“There hasn’t been much to do, what with the lockdown and suspension of sport, but it has given me some time to spend with the family.

“The year 2020 was a huge blow for everyone, not just us Zimbabweans, but the whole world, with the pandemic causing everything to come to a standstill.

“As sportsmen, we have limited time on the field and you want to maximise and play every game.

“We missed out on a lot of cricket and now we are back on lockdown again.

“It has, however, given me time to think and re-evaluate what is important.

“I have dedicated much of the time to the family and my investments, as I also have to think about life after the game,” he said.

The Sports and Recreation Commission (SRC)’s decision to approve Zimbabwe’s tour to the sub-continent for a date against Afghanistan did not come as much of a surprise for the 34-year-old skipper.

In fact, it was a matter of when, and not if.

“It didn’t come as much of a shock, to be honest.

“If you look around, cricket is being played, and I think it was just a matter of the powers ironing out the required protocols and safeguards.

“We have been expecting the green light; we were just not sure when it would come,” he said.

That being said, Chibhabha is happy that the team can once again return to action, as the inactivity had weighed heavily on his mind.

“Momentum is key in cricket, and I think we lost a bit when we went into lockdown.

“We played some good cricket last year during the Pakistan tour and should have won.

“The highlight for me was young Wesley Madhevere who came into the dressing room and immediately felt comfortable.

“It showed in the manner in which he played his cricket, but playing and stopping again can’t be good for him.

“The same goes for the other young talents, like Milton Shumba, and the huge crop of domestic players.

“I fear that we may fail to complete the season, which had started with the Logan Cup, and then got interrupted by the lockdown.

“Also, every year that goes by with this pandemic, and its interruptions, is a year that is taken from us.

“You can never get back lost time,” he said.

There is also the question of Chibhabha’s captaincy and form, which was one of the talking points of 2020.

“When you play international cricket, you have to develop a thick skin and accept that criticism.

“When you play well, people are going to love and then turn on you when you play badly – it comes with the territory.

“I have really enjoyed my time as captain so far, and will be the first to admit that I haven’t played as well as I would like or that is expected of me.

“My focus right now is on changing all that.

“I love playing international cricket, I enjoy playing at that level and the competitiveness. Four ODIs and one win. I will take that any day,” said Chibhabha. The Sunday Mail

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