Debu­tant Hamza shows his worth to the Proteas

The Star Late Edition - - METRO -

PROTEAS debu­tant bats­man Zubayr Hamza has made his­tory by be­com­ing the first crick­eter from the Univer­sity of the Western Cape (UWC) to don the se­nior na­tional cricket team colours in a Test.

One of the coun­try’s lead­ing fran­chise crick­eters, Hamza also claimed the mile­stone of be­ing the 100th player to rep­re­sent the Proteas in the five-day for­mat against Pak­istan in Gauteng, re­plac­ing skip­per Faf du Plessis as the se­ries had al­ready been won. Hamza bat­ted con­fi­dently on Fri­day, scor­ing 41 runs.

Cur­rently, do­ing a BCom ac­count­ing de­gree, Hamza joined

UWC through the Sport Skills for Life Skills pro­gramme.

The direc­tor of the ini­tia­tive, ad­vo­cate Ni­cholas Kok, has con­grat­u­lated Hamza on his Proteas de­but and said it was in­cred­i­ble for the UWC Cricket Club, the pro­gramme and for the UWC com­mu­nity.

“Zubayr is our first Protea to come from the pro­gramme and from UWC, and he is a hum­ble, hard-work­ing man who has shown ded­i­ca­tion and per­se­ver­ance. “He is still a young­ster and will have a great fu­ture ahead of him,” said Kok.

Hamza has reg­u­larly put the univer­sity on the map since en­rolling. His ster­ling form was re­warded with a call-up to the South Africa A side last year and a con­tract with the Cape Co­bras for the Sun­foil Se­ries two years ago.

Be­ing on the se­lec­tors’ radar for a cou­ple of sea­sons, he grabbed their at­ten­tion last sum­mer when he scored 828 runs in the Sun­foil Se­ries for the Cape Co­bras, at an av­er­age of 69, mak­ing three cen­turies and four half-cen­turies.

He rep­re­sented the Proteas A in In­dia in the win­ter and made a pair of 50s against In­dia A. UWC’s direc­tor of sport ad­min­is­tra­tion, Mandla Ga­gayi, said Hamza’s se­lec­tion bears tes­ti­mony to his con­sis­tency for the Cape Co­bras and UWC.

“Be­ing UWC’s sports­man of the year in 2017, his se­lec­tion to the Proteas was in­evitable. “As UWC Sport, we are proud of our con­tri­bu­tion to South Africa’s sport agenda in dif­fer­ent dis­ci­plines,” said Ga­gayi. | Staff Re­porter


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