Grafton gets new star

Auckland City Harbour News - - Sport - By Scott Mor­gan

The Grafton Cricket Club have a se­cret weapon for the up­com­ing sea­son.

South African all­rounder Zahir Abrahim has joined the club af­ter a lengthy first-class ca­reer in his home­land.

He rep­re­sented the Dur­ban-based Dol­phins in the South African do­mes­tic com­pe­ti­tion and played for South Africa A.

The fast-medium all­rounder says he moved to New Zealand with his fam­ily for a change of life­style.

“The coun­try it­self seems much safer. It’s a brand new start for us.”

And af­ter play­ing with some of South Africa’s best crick­eters over the years, in­clud­ing Sean Pol­lock, Lance Klus­ner and Kep­pler Wes­sels, he hopes to pass some of that knowl­edge onto his new team-mates.

“You pick up things they do by talk­ing to them. How they an­a­lyse games has def­i­nitely helped me a lot in my cricket ca­reer,” he says.

“I will def­i­nitely use that in­for­ma­tion to help those play­ers com­ing through the ranks.”

He’ll play for Grafton in premier twenty20, one-day and two-day com­pe­ti­tions, and help coach up-and-com­ing tal­ent.

But at 36, he says th­ese days he prefers the shorter ver­sions of the game.

Abrahim is still learn­ing about his team-mates but ex­pects a suc­cess­ful sea­son.

“To see them per­form well this sea­son is a good chal­lenge.”

Grafton club man­ager Adrian Smith says Abrahim was al­ways top of their shop­ping list be­cause he was plan­ning on set­tling in New Zealand per­ma­nently.

“We’re looking long-term and hope to have him for a few sea­sons.”

He says he hopes his new sign­ing will in­spire the rest of the team.

“We’ll be looking for a pro­fes­sional per­for­mance from him to drag the other play­ers up.”

The Auck­land club cricket sea­son starts on Satur­day with the premier twenty20 com­pe­ti­tion.

Visit www.auck­land cricket.co.nz for de­tails.

Photo: JA­SON OX­EN­HAM

Star im­port: For­mer South African first-class cricket player Zahir Abrahim hopes his ex­pe­ri­ence will rub off on some of his team-mates at the Grafton club this sea­son.

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