News 6 december — 18:25

South Africa call on uncapped batsman Hamza for Pakistan series


 South Africa have named uncapped middle-order batsman Zubayr Hamza and fast bowler Duanne Olivier in their squad for the three-test home series against Pakistan starting in Pretoria on Boxing Day, Euronews reports.

Cape Town-born Hamza, 23, averages almost 50 in first class cricket but has had a modest domestic season to date with two fifties in nine innings and an average of a little over 31.

The right-hander, who bats at number three for his provincial Cape Cobras side, has been rewarded for his excellent form over the last 18 months though and his potential as a future regular in the team.

"Zubayr has been one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa A tour to India where he averaged over 50 in the four-day series against tough opposition and under tough conditions," Cricket South Africa national selection panel (NSP) convener Linda Zondi said in a media statement on Thursday.

"Before that, he had an outstanding season in the four-day franchise competition where he scored 823 runs, including three centuries, at the impressive average of 69.

"His selection is part of our vision for the future as we start to feed new players into the system. It is inevitable that some of our senior players will start thinking of retiring in years to come and it is vital that we have a good succession plan in place."

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