Co­bras’ Hamza named in Proteas Test squad

The Witness - - CLASSIFIEDS SPORT -

ZUBAYR Hamza, a 23-year-old Cape Co­bras bats­man, has been named as a po­ten­tial new cap in the Proteas squad for the three-match Test se­ries against Pak­istan which starts at Su­per­Sport Park in Cen­tu­rion on De­cem­ber 26.

The other matches will be played at New­lands from Jan­uary 3 and at Bid­vest Wan­der­ers from Jan­uary 11.

Cricket South Africa (CSA) an­nounced a 13-man squad for the se­ries yes­ter­day that also fea­tures the re­turn of Knights fast bowler Duanne Olivier, in place of the in­jured Lungi Ngidi, and Ke­shav Ma­haraj as the only Dol­phins pick.

Olivier was part of the squad for the pre­vi­ous home Test se­ries against Aus­tralia and has rep­re­sented the Proteas in five Test matches.

If Hamza gains se­lec­tion in the fi­nal XI, he will be­come the 100th player to rep­re­sent the Proteas in the five­day for­mat.

Said CSA na­tional se­lec­tion panel (NSP) con­vener Linda Zondi: “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.

“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.

“As un­for­tu­nate as Lungi’s in­jury is, we are blessed to have out­stand­ing depth in our fast bowl­ing re­sources. Duanne has im­pressed on his pre­vi­ous ap­pear­ances for the Proteas and has had a good fran­chise sea­son to date with 20 wick­ets in his five matches at an av­er­age of 22.80.

“Tladi Bokako will work with the squad as a learn­ing ex­pe­ri­ence dur­ing the se­ries in a con­tin­u­a­tion of the ini­tia­tive we started with Kag­iso Rabada and con­tin­ued with Matthew Breet­zke ear­lier in the sea­son. He has had a good de­but sea­son for the Cape Co­bras with 21 wick­ets at 26.33 to date.

“We will con­tinue to iden­tify young play­ers with the po­ten­tial to be­come fu­ture Proteas,” con­cluded Zondi. — WR.

SA TEST SQUAD: Faf du Plessis (Ti­tans, capt), Hashim Amla (Co­bras), Temba Bavuma (Lions), The­u­nis de Bruyn (Ti­tans), Quin­ton de Kock (Ti­tans), Dean El­gar (Ti­tans), Zubayr Hamza (Co­bras), Ke­shav Ma­haraj (Dol­phins), Ai­den Markram (Ti­tans), Duanne Olivier (Knights), Ver­non Phi­lan­der (Co­bras), Kag­iso Rabada (Lions), Dale Steyn (Ti­tans)

PAK­ISTAN TOUR TO SA 2018/19 De­cem­ber 26-30: 1st Test match Su­per­Sport Park, Cen­tu­rion (10 am) Jan­uary 3-7: 2nd Test match

PPC New­lands, Cape Town (10.30 am) Jan­uary 11-15: 3rd Test match Bid­vest Wan­der­ers Sta­dium, Jo­han­nes­burg (10 am)

PHOTO: GALLO

New­ Prote­assquad­ mem­berZubayr­ Hamzafrom­ Cape­ Co­bras.­

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