BY MUNYARADZI MADZOKERE
WHEN he is not busy with national duty, Zimbabwe Cricket limited-overs captain Chamu Chibhabha goes to his ranch to help look after the fast-growing herd.
Chibhabha would love to play cricket for as a long as the country needs him and he still enjoys it.
Besides, he harbours a dream to take the country to one more World Cup in his career before he can call it a day.
But he is 34 now and he knows very well he may not be able to play for as long as he wants and hence for the past few years he has been investing for retirement. And since he was a boy he has always coveted life on a cattle ranch.
“I have always had a keen interest in that kind of lifestyle. I know it sounds like a cliché, but from a young age I enjoyed that set-up. So when an opportunity presented itself I thought to myself why not,” Chibhabha said of his cattle ranching venture in an exclusive interview with The Sports Hub.
“It’s been over a year now since we started this venture and it’s been a journey. At some point there was a setback and I could have easily stepped away from the project, but decided to carry on. I would say it still is a journey anyway, but you continue to make mistakes and grow,” said the ODI and T20is captain.
Named CMG Cattle Ranch, the project is situated in Nyabira, Zvimba district, some 34km north-west of Harare.
Nyabira is the hub of mixed farming and cattle breeding in the country.
“CMG is a group of enthusiastic guys. So those are our initials. Besides the herd, there has been some horticulture with decent results. Like I said, we are learning each day and there’s no limit to what we want to achieve,” Chibhabha said.
And with the country currently on lockdown and sporting activities suspended, Chibhabha spends a fair share of his time at the ranch.
He speaks about his typical day at CMG Cattle Ranch.
“Typically we go and do cow dipping. We then check for any anomaly on each and every beast as well as doing a head count which is not an easy job by any means.
“I have good numbers and the herd is doing okay. The major setback is land considering that the herd is growing. I have done a few applications to the Lands ministry, but no responses yet, so now it is a waiting game.
“But ultimately the desire is to be one of the best cattle breeders in the country and also be able to feed the nation and beyond through this venture,” he said.
Apart from cattle ranching and mixed farming, Chibhabha has also extensively invested into the real estate business.
Chibhabha had advice for fellow cricketers and athletes on the importance of preparing for after sport.
“The lifespan of a sporting career is very short. The best thing you can do for yourself is also to look outside of it. It’s easy to stay in your comfort zone. Stepping outside of it is the first step and I believe once you do that, you can achieve anything that you set your mind on,” he said.
It’s been 16 years since Chibhabha made his ODI debut against New Zealand in Harare and has gone on to receive 107 caps while he has played three Tests and 36 T20Is for Zimbabwe.
In January last year Chibhabha was appointed captain of the shorter versions of the game while Sean William assumed Test captain duties.
Late last year he led Zimbabwe to a historic ODI win in Sri Lanka despite a 2-1 series loss and a 3-0 whitewash in the T20 series.
How many years does he feel he has to keep playing the game at the highest level?
“As long as I am still enjoying the game there is still a bit of years. I would like to see Zim qualify for the World Cup. I believe there are a lot of upcoming youngsters that deserve to play at a big stage like the World Cup,” he said.
Chibhabha has also been visible in a charitable cause donating 10% of his salary to help the needy and has donated to several orphanages since the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic.