Fu­ture looks bright for young Co­bra

Cape Argus - - SPORT - ZAAHIER ADAMS [email protected]

THE Cape Co­bras are a tight-knit bunch, par­tic­u­larly the youth­ful ma­jor­ity that make up the squad.

They share each other’s tri­umphs and fail­ures and were vis­i­bly dis­ap­pointed for their mate Zubayr Hamza when he missed out on an Mzansi Su­per League (MSL) con­tract at the player draft.

But now it is Hamza that is walk­ing around with the big­gest smile after the classy right-han­der re­ceived a maiden call-up to the Proteas Test squad for the se­ries against Pak­istan this month.

“I al­ways tell my­self that the world works in a mys­te­ri­ous ways,” Hamza said yes­ter­day.

“We all wanted to be part of the MSL, es­pe­cially in the birth year of the tour­na­ment. After miss­ing out I told my­self I am just go­ing to bet­ter my­self fit­ness wise. I have also be­ing play­ing club cricket and try­ing to stay fit. And look now … I got this mas­sive call up.

“It is huge and beyond my wildest dreams.”

Hamza is part of a 13-man squad for the three-match se­ries that also fea­tures the re­turn of Knights fast bowler Duanne Olivier in place of the in­jured Lungi Ngidi.

“Zubayr has been one of the stand­out crick­eters in do­mes­tic cricket over the past year and car­ried that form into the South Africa ‘A’ tour to In­dia where he av­er­aged over 50 in the four-day se­ries against tough op­po­si­tion and un­der tough con­di­tions,” said na­tional con­vener of se­lec­tors Linda Zondi.

“Be­fore that, he had an out­stand­ing sea­son in the four-day fran­chise com­pe­ti­tion where he scored 823 runs, in­clud­ing three cen­turies, at the im­pres­sive av­er­age of 69.

“His se­lec­tion is part of our vi­sion for the fu­ture as we start to feed new play­ers into the sys­tem. It is in­evitable that some of our se­nior play­ers will start think­ing of re­tir­ing in years to come and it is vi­tal that we have a good suc­ces­sion plan in place,” ex­plained Zondi.

The 23-year-old is one for the fu­ture, and will ben­e­fit from be­ing in the com­pany of Messrs Amla, Du Plessis and El­gar be­fore they head off into the sun­set.

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