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Proteas hopeful Hamza credits Ashwell Prince for mental toughness

New Proteas Test call-up Zubayr Hamza has given credit to his Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince for his renowned mental fortitude that has earned him a National call-up for the three-Test match series against Pakistan later this month.

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

JOHANNESBURG - New Proteas Test call-up Zubayr Hamza has given credit to his Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince for the mental toughness that has earned him a national call-up for the three-Test match series against Pakistan later this month.

The 23-year-old former Rondebosch Boys' High batsman is known for his ability to thrive under pressure and says that he learnt from the very best in Prince at Newlands.

Prince, who was also renowned for his grit and tenacity under testing conditions during his playing days with the Proteas, has moulded the youngsters at the Cape Town franchise into formidable match-winners who have rocketed to the top of the standings in the domestic Four-day competition with four impressive wins from their five games. The side's winning run was halted by the Lions in their last game before the start of the inaugural Mzansi Super League.

Hamza says that he has learnt a lot from Prince.

“Ashwell Prince at the Cobras has done wonders with my mental game as well as technical skills. His way of thinking and the style of cricket he wants us to play is always fearless and has taught us not to back down from anyone.”

The middle-order batsman also enjoyed a successful South Africa ‘A’ tour to India in August where he recorded 156 runs in three innings at an average of 50, with a top score of 93 on the tour. He says the experience of playing for the SA ‘A’ side gave him the confidence of playing at the highest level.

“The SA ‘A’ tour really gave me confidence of playing at a higher level than franchise cricket and I learnt a lot from the coaches like Russel Domingo. I also spoke to Russel a little bit about what is expected at the next level and there were still things that need to be worked on to become better. That tour, for me, really gave me great confidence and I hope that I can make the most of the opportunity should I get one during the Pakistan series.”

Hamza was voted as the Four-Day competition player of the year at last season’s Cobras awards.