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SA ‘A’ Captain Hamza: The goal is to win all the games, simple as that!

South Africa ‘A’ captain, Zubayr Hamza, is looking forward to the team’s return to play when they take on Zimbabwe ‘A’ in a tour that includes a four-match, One-Day and two-match, Four-Day series from 21 May to 16 June 2021. The mission is simple for the Western Province batsman – to win every match.

“To be blunt, the goal of this tour is to win all the games, simple as that,” he commented. “We’ve got guys like Reeza Hendricks, Dwaine Pretorius, Andile Phehlukwayo to name a few and we can throw Janneman Malan’s name in that hat as well, guys who have played regular international cricket of late and that experience will definitely show on the field.

“This tour is an opportunity for most players to do well. Regardless of the opposition, we have to control what we can in our environment with regard to our own performances.

“The goal of the tour is to win all the games and to start gaining credibility next to the SA A team’s name,” Hamza continued. “Over the past few seasons, we’ve had a couple of tough tours, be that as it may, we can’t underestimate our opponents. We’ll need to focus on our strengths and go from there.”

The ‘A’ team has not had any game time since its 2019 tour of India where they lost their five-match, One-Day series 4-1 and the two-match, Four-Day series 1-0 (the second match was drawn). Hamza is looking forward to turning the page and stepping up to his newly awarded leadership role.

Speaking on captaincy, he said: “I wouldn’t say that it was expected but it’s obviously an honour for me to represent my country in any way, shape or form. To be given the role as the leader of this team is something that I definitely welcome. Captaining the Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras over the past season, I’ve learned a lot about not just how the game is played but also the differentiation between individual game and leadership. It’s been a good learning curve for me and it’s something that I welcome.

“It’s been an exciting challenge for me. Fortunately, the squad is loaded with regular international players that have quite a wealth of experience next to their names and these guys will be able to help out when there’s tough times or tough questions being asked. I’m definitely confident that I’ll be able to perform the role to the best of my ability and I’m confident that the team is filled with leaders in their own right.”

While there is not a lot of Test cricket on the cards for the Proteas in the near future following the West Indies tour, Hamza is still working towards a return to the senior national team and hopes to put in enough head-turning performances for another opportunity for a call-up when the time comes.

“With regards to playing four-day cricket, it’s an exciting format for me and I feel like over the past two seasons, I’ve been pretty under par for what I expect of myself. I’m looking to get back on that bandwagon and put in some solid performances, especially in the longer format of the game and hopefully earn another opportunity at the top.”

South Africa A One-Day Squad

Ryan Rickelton (Central Gauteng Lions), Janneman Malan (Boland), Reeza Hendricks (Central Gauteng Lions), Zubayr Hamza (Western Province), Tony de Zorzi (Western Province), Dwaine Pretorius (North West), Andile Phehlukwayo (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Sisanda Magala (Central Gauteng Lions), Junior Dala (Northerns), Lutho Sipamla (Central Gauteng Lions), Senuran Muthusamy (North West), Daryn Dupavillon (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Glenton Stuurman (Eastern Province), Theunis de Bruyn (Northerns), Wihan Lubbe (Eastern Province), Sinethemba Qeshile (Eastern Province).

South Africa A Four-Day Squad

Dominic Hendricks (Central Gauteng Lions), Eddie Moore (Eastern Province), Zubayr Hamza (Western Province), Raynard van Tonder (Free State), Theunis de Bruyn (Northerns), Senuran Muthusamy (North West), Sinethemba Qeshile (Eastern Province), Miguel Pretorius (Free State), Daryn Dupavillon (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Glenton Stuurman (Eastern Province), Lutho Sipamla (Central Gauteng Lions), Dayyaan Galiem (Northerns), Okuhle Cele (Northerns), Tony de Zorzi (Western Province), Ryan Rickelton (Central Gauteng Lions), Tshepo Ntuli (Central Gauteng Lions).

South Africa A Tour to Zimbabwe Schedule

29 May 2021                   1st One-Day Match               Harare

31 May 2021                   2nd One-Day Match              Harare

02 June 2021                   3rd One-Day Match              Harare

04 June 2021                   4th One-Day Match              Harare

07-10 June 2021             1st 4-Day Match                Harare

13-16 June 2021             2nd 4-Day Match               Harare