Western Province and Proteas batsman Zubayr Hamza has signed for the Central Gauteng Lions.
Hamza will be joined in Joburg by WP teammate, pace bowler Tshepo Moreki, who took 16 wickets in last season’s 4-Day Series.
Hamza has made six Test and one ODI appearances for the Proteas. After playing his last Test, against New Zealand in Christchurch in February, he tested positive for Furosemide – a masking agent – and was banned for ninth months.
“Zubayr will add great value to our environment,” Lions CEO Jono-Leaf-Wright told TimesLive. “He is obviously a highly-skilled batter, but he will also add value in terms of the calmness and leadership he will provide in our unit.
“Look, mistakes happen and as long as people learn from them, then I’m fine and feel they deserve another chance. Zubayr fits that,” Leaf-Wright said of Hamza’s ban.
“From everyone I’ve talked to, they all say he is a good guy and I think he will fit in nicely here into the environment and culture we are creating at the Lions.”
Leaf-Wright told TimesLive the signings were to provide cover for Ryan Rickelton and Sisanda Magala, who are both expected to feature more for the Proteas next season.