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AS the ICC World Cup 2015 beckons, Zimbabwe batsman Chamu Chibhabha is excited to make a return to the big stage.

The opening batsman made his World Cup debut in 2007, but could not make it for the 2011 edition.

Form has often deserted him at crucial moments.

Because of his erratic performances, the 28-year-old was repeatedly overlooked by the selectors since the 2013 tour of the West Indies where the team performed dismally.

However, Chibhabha appears to have hit the right form at the right time. The right-handed batsman is now relishing another opportunity at the biggest stage.

“Representing your country at the World Cup is something special. So, the most important thing is to go out there and express yourself, and try and get us to the top, whatever it takes.

“When you look back in 10 years or 20 years from now, it’s something you would want to remember as something beautiful,” he said.

The Mashonaland Eagles batsman has had to contend with frustrations over his form, but a stint in England, where he has played in the last two seasons, has helped bring back his confidence.

Chibhabha signed with Harefield Cricket Club two years ago and was the leading run scorer last year with eight fifties and a ton under the belt.

He amassed 921 runs from 20 innings at an average of 61.40 and was also among the leading wicket takers in the English Home Counties Cricket League.

He had a slow start on his return home at Mashonaland Eagles.

But after being given the stage to prove himself during the tour of Canada earlier this month, Chibhabha grabbed the opportunity with both hands and did just enough to convince the selectors and earn a place in the Zimbabwe team for the World Cup.

He scored 155 runs to help the Zimbabwe A team clinch a comfortable win over the Associate nation on the eve of the selection and then followed that up with three half centuries in his next six innings.

“I have found form at the right time. Since the Zimbabwe A tour against Canada, it’s been amazing. I got a hundred and I managed to get three or so fifties.

“Hopefully, I will be able to go to the World Cup with that form.

“For me, as an opening batsman, I think what’s important is to get some good scores that will win games for the team. It’s crucial to give the team a good start upfront,” he said.

Chibhabha will have to work hard to challenge for a place to open the innings as veteran batsman Hamilton Masakadza and the ever-improving Sikandar Raza-Butt are also eyeing starting places.

Zimbabwe are in Group B alongside defending champions India, Pakistan, West Indies, Ireland, United Arab Emirates and in-form South Africa, who rank among the pre-tournament favourites.

The locals have, however, have set themselves a quarter-final target.

“The most important thing is to have a common goal and make contributions that benefit the team.

“We need to have that mindset to believe that we can get through to the quarter-final.

“There are pretty good teams at the World Cup.

“Obviously, South Africa are one of the best teams and that’s going to be our first game. It will be nice for us to get a good start and, hopefully, we will get a good start,” said Chibhabha.

Source : The Herald

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