Sat, 31 Oct 2020

Proteas batsman Zubayr Hamza will captain the Cape Cobras during the 2020/2021 season.

This was confirmed by head coach Ashwell Prince during a press conference at Newlands on Tuesday.

Hamza takes over the captaincy from USA-bound Dane Piedt, with Prince confident in his new leader's abilities.

"I'm really looking forward to working side-by-side with Zubayr, as he takes charge of an exciting group of players. He has done the job on a part-time basis last season and besides the fact that he's a top class batsman, he has displayed real leadership qualities," Prince said.

The coach added: "More than just leading from the front with the bat, he's an astute thinker and real student of the game. There's a genuine care factor about the rest of his team-mates, and I think because of that he will enjoy every bit of support from the rest of the squad, and of course management. I also feel that we have we have a number of hungry, talented and highly motivated individuals, such as the Malan brothers (Pieter and Janneman), (Kyle) Verreynne, (Tony) de Zorzi, and (George) Linde, who all have displayed good leadership qualities that he'll be able to call upon out on the field."

Hamza, who has played five Tests for the Proteas, said he was looking forward to the challenge of leading the Cobras.

"Firstly, I want to thank the Cobras management for putting their faith in me as the captain, it goes without saying that it's an honour and a privilege. I want to thank my predecessor Dane Piedt and the former captains who came before me, the likes of JP Duminy, Rory Kleinveldt, Justin Ontong, Andrew Puttick etc, who I have played under and who taught me the importance and privilege which comes with leading this proud franchise.

"We have an extremely exciting squad this coming season and even though I have my own style of leadership, there's quite a number of guys who have strong leadership qualities that I'd be able to lean on for assistance and advice throughout the season. We have created quite a positive atmosphere throughout the team and have been putting in a high standard of work for the past couple of months, which has been really impressive. We are all excited for the upcoming season."

Western Cape Cricket interim CEO Albertus Kennedy endorsed the decision to appoint the 25-year-old: "Zubayr has shown that he thrives on responsibility and during last year's One Day Cup campaign, he began his captaincy journey by leading from the front. He knows what is expected of him and his team this coming season as we enter a new era of Cape Cobras cricket and we are looking forward to see this team grow and be successful under his leadership."

Western Cape Cricket chairperson Angelo Carolissen also conveyed his best wishes to the squad: "On behalf of the Board of Western Cape Cricket, we want to wish Ashwell, his new captain Zubayr and the entire squad of players and management, every success for the coming season, we know that you will represent the franchise with great pride."

In other appointments, Barney Mohammed has been confirmed as convenor of selectors for the season and Romano Ramoo as the team video analyst.

Meanwhile, the Cobras are in full pre-season mode ahead of the new season and Prince is impressed with his squad's efforts to date.

"I'm really happy with how things have gone through the first six weeks of pre-season. Initially it was all strength and conditioning and the guys are looking in good physical condition. Over the few weeks we have started to include the skills, and I'm really excited about the skill levels.

"Obviously we know about all our players who went on to play for the Proteas last year, add to that all the exciting new talent and things are looking promising. We're all really excited and can't wait for the start of the season."

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