Hamza makes his de­but in Cas­tle Lager Test

Observer on Saturday - - Sport -

– Zubayr Hamza be­came South Africa’s 100th Test player of the posti­so­la­tion era here yes­ter­day morn­ing, when he made his de­but in the third Cas­tle Lager Test against Pak­istan.

It’s been a long jour­ney for the tal­ented 23-year-old, who sur­vived an awk­ward ac­ci­dent in­volv­ing a foot­ball and some fish oil in his mum’s kitchen to the ‘Bull­ring.’

Hamza, picked in place of the sus­pended Faf du Plessis, was to get his chance at the crease yes­ter­day morn­ing, af­ter stand-in skip­per Dean El­gar won the toss and chose to bat in bright sun­shine. Hamza’s path to an SA Test cap, while seem­ingly straight­for­ward, given where he was schooled, was to some­what cir­cuitous. Cricket wasn’t his first love. “I was more into foot­ball when I was younger,” he ad­mit­ted this week. That love led to an ac­ci­dent at home when he was younger, something that hap­pened fre­quently ap­par­ently given his clum­si­ness as a young­ster. “I’ve heard a lot of sto­ries from my par­ents, whether its rolling my foot over a foot­ball...or the time I was play­ing soc­cer in the kitchen and some­how I ended up cov­ered in fish oil.”

“Grow­ing up I al­ways en­joyed sport, but I never thought cricket would be the sport I’d make a ca­reer out of...as I’ve grown up I fallen more in love with the sport.” Hamza, who com­pleted his school­ing at Ron­de­bosch Boys High also the alma mater of Gary Kirsten, HD Ack­er­man and Jonathan Trott - has been on the se­lec­tors’ radar for a cou­ple of sea­sons.

JO­HAN­NES­BURG

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