Cobras No 3 batsman Zubayr Hamza heaped praise on Ashwell Prince and Faiek Davids after his selection for the Proteas Test squad to take on Pakistan.
While participating in the USSA week in December – where he scored two half-centuries – news broke that Hamza had been selected for the 13-man Test squad to take on Pakistan, starting on 26 December.
If selected in the starting XI, the 23-year-old will become the 100th Test Protea post-isolation.
Linda Zondi, convenor of the CSA national selection panel, described Hamza as one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year, and he carried that form into the South Africa A tour to India where he averaged 52 in the four-day series.
Reflecting on his career to date, Hamza acknowledged the match against the Warriors when he was drafted into the side after an injury to Simon Khomari as a turning point of his career in 2017-18.
He immediately struck 111 and added 237 runs for the second wicket with Pieter Malan against the Warriors.
In the 2017-18 season he finished with 828 runs at an average of 69, having only scored 151 runs in four games in the previous season.
Hamza heaped praise on Cobras coach Prince and said he had explained to the players what was expected at this level and also what the psychological expectations were if you were to represent South Africa.
As a combination, Prince and Faiek Davids, assistant coach of the Cape Cobras, have had a big impact on his career.
It was Davids who showed confidence in him and selected him for Western Province, while Prince, who played in 66 Tests for South Africa, was instrumental in improving the mental aspect of his game.
‘Ashwell elevated the mental part of our game, having played for South Africa for a long time and knowing what is expected to be successful at that level.’
There is also a special ‘vibe’ in the Cape Cobras team under the coaching of Prince and Davids, he added.
Andrew Puttick, batting consultant of Western Province and the Cape Cobras, said: ‘contrary to articles floating around, which gave me credit for Zubayr’s evolvement, I have not worked with him much this season, the great work has been done by coach Ashwell Prince and his assistant, Faiek Davids, and as Zuby stated, there have been massive contributions from Shukri Conrad during his time at the Academy and from SA A coach Russell Domingo.’
Cobras CEO Nabeal Dien also complimented the young star.
‘I am very proud of this selection of Zubayr into the South African squad and I’m equally chuffed with the impact that the coaching staff of Ashwell and Faiek have had in his selection for the 13-man squad of South Africa.