Zubayr Hamza is our future star in the latest edition of SA Cricket magazine.
Hamza is one of the most exciting young batsman to graduate from Rondebosch Boys’ High School. His textbook stance and composure is what makes him one of the most exciting young cricketers around. Hamza has showed promise in all formats of the game. Among others, he’s played for South African Schools, Western Province and more recently for University Sport South Africa XI.
His first taste of club cricket was for local side Primrose, where he worked his way up the age groups from nine years old, making the 1st XI side at 17. The club refrained from putting too much pressure on him, nurturing and helping him develop into the cricketer he is today.
The internal competition at Rondebosch is what drove him to improve and he would go on to play for Western Province at numerous levels.
Hamza’s two fifties for WP against KZN-Inland back in March is up there as among his fondest memories.
‘My team was struggling and they needed someone to do the job,’ he tells SA Cricket. ‘I knew I needed to try and graft for the team’s sake, despite wickets falling quite fast around me. Being able to take on this challenge when the team was under the pump gave me great experience of what it is like to bat under pressure.’
It was moments like this that earned him a nomination for Sunfoil Three-Day Cup player of the Year at this year’s CSA Awards.
In October 2014, Hamza became the fourth-youngest (19 years 113 days) South African to score a double century in first-class cricket, scoring 202 not out against Namibia in a match WP ended up drawing. This remains his highest score.
In more recent times, Hamza scored 349 runs in six matches for USSA XI at an average of 69,8, helping his team to win the Tri-Series featuring Sri Lanka Emerging and SA Emerging.
Hamza’s hero growing up was Jaques Kallis. Hamza has drawn inspiration from Kallis’ immense concentration at the crease to get himself focused for big games, as well as trying to emulate his elegant stroke play.
He ended up leading the run-scoring charts in the Three-Day competition last season, and he was rewarded with a promotion to the Cape Cobras, where he will stand a chance to play professional franchise cricket more often. Coach Paul Adams is looking forward to working more closely with him.
‘He’s a consistent batsman with the ability to score good runs under pressure. I’ll never forget the day he was meant to make his debut against the Knights. He fell ill meaning he couldn’t play. He was gutted by this, but showed great self-belief, mental strength and determination to keep calm, waiting for his chance. When it arrived, he played well and is scoring good runs for us.
‘Zubayr is a promising cricketer with a bright future ahead of him. The thing that struck me the most was his mature decision-making for someone so young as a batter. He’s very well organised as a package on and off the field. Zubayr is a mature cricketer and has the ability to score all around the ground,’ added USSA coach Andrew Wiley.
Written by Khalid Mohidin, an intern at Highbury Media.