Chibhabha aims to get Zimbabwe off to a flyer

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Zimbabwe captain Chamu Chibhabha is aiming to start with a bang in his side’s ODI series against Pakistan later this month.

The three day/night ODI matches in Rawalpindi will be crucial for the Chevrons in their quest to qualify for the 2023 ICC Men's Cricket World Cup in India.

The first game is scheduled for 30 October, with two further fixtures set for 1 and 3 November, while the series is part of the inaugural ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Super League that will serve as the main route for qualification for 2023’s showpiece event.

The 13-team league competition will see the top seven sides, plus India, qualifying directly for the World Cup, while the remaining five teams, along with five Associate sides, will play in a qualifier tournament from which two teams will go through to the global showcase.

Speaking during Zimbabwe’s second day of training at the Army Cricket Ground in Rawalpindi on Thursday, Chibhabha underscored his side’s desire to do well in the Super League.

“It’s very crucial for us to play really well,” he said. “Super League games are very important when you consider the fact that we have to qualify for the World Cup.

“We would rather qualify directly as opposed to having to play in the qualifiers because that’s a lot of pressure.

“So we would love to get a couple of wins under our belt, which makes life easier for us to qualify for the World Cup.”

Chibhabha, who is one of the six Zimbabwe players in the current squad who toured Pakistan in 2015, said they were still trying to get accustomed to the local conditions but he is expecting high-scoring encounters.

“From our experience in 2015, we know we are going to play on a flat wicket – some might have a bit of spin on them, slow and turning, but we are expecting a lot of runs in this series,” the captain said.

“Obviously, it’s going to be hot but it’s not as bad as we expected. We will also be playing day/night matches, so dew is going to play a huge factor.”

After the ODI series, Pakistan and Zimbabwe will tussle it out in three T20I matches scheduled for 7, 8 and 10 November in Lahore.

Squad: Chamu Chibhabha (captain), Faraz Akram, Ryan Burl, Brian Chari, Tendai Chatara, Elton Chigumbura, Tendai Chisoro, Craig Ervine, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, Wessly Madhevere, Wellington Masakadza, Carl Mumba, Richmond Mutumbami, Blessing Muzarabani, Richard Ngarava, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Brendan Taylor, Donald Tiripano, Sean Williams.

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