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Uncapped Hamza included in Proteas squad for Pakistan series

Uncapped Cape Cobras batsman Zubayr Hamza has been included in the 13-man Proteas squad for the three-Test series against Pakistan starting on Boxing Day at SuperSport Park Centurion.

Cape Cobras batsman Zubayr Hamza has been included in the Proteas Test squad for the 2018/2019 series against Pakistan. Picture: @Cobrascricket/Twitter

JOHANNESBURG - Uncapped Cape Cobras batsman Zubayr Hamza has been included in the 13-man Proteas squad for the three-Test series against Pakistan starting on Boxing Day at SuperSport Park Centurion.

The 23-year-old Hamza has long been touted as a future Test batsman for South Africa after consistent domestic four-day competition performances in the last few years.

The former Rondebosch Boys High School scholar averages 48.95 in 51 First Class matches, notching up 3,574 runs in the process. He impressed for South Africa ‘A’ in the recent tour of India, averaging 50 with the bat.

Knights seamer Duanne Olivier is recalled to the squad for the injured Lungi Ngidi who will miss the series with injury.

Another Cobras man Tladi Bokako will join the squad as part of Cricket South Africa’s continued apprentice initiative after impressing for the log-leading Cobras in the Four-day competition since joining for the Warriors.

CSA’s convener of selectors Linda Zondi said that the selectors were happy about Hamza’s performances.

“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.

If Hamza gains selection in the final XI he will become the 100th player to represent the Proteas in the five-day format.

Standard Bank Proteas Test squad: Faf du Plessis (Multiply Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (bizhub Highveld Lions), Theunis de Bruyn (Multiply Titans), Quinton de Kock (Multiply Titans), Dean Elgar (Multiply Titans), Zubayr Hamza (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans), Duanne Olivier (VKB Knights), Vernon Philander (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Kagiso Rabada (bizhub Highveld Lions), Dale Steyn (Multiply Titans)

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