Cape Town – Zubayr Hamza has been rewarded for his stellar performances with the bat once more by being appointed as the Western Province captain for the 4-Day Series starting on Friday.
The right-handed batter has led the Cape Cobras in various formats in the past, but took a back seat during the recent provincial T20 event, where all-rounder Wayne Parnell was the skipper.
The 26-year-old, who has five Proteas Test caps, was the third-highest run-scorer in the T20 competition with 187 in four innings, with a top score of 106, an average of 46.75 and a strike-rate of 142.74, proving that he is well capable of shining in white-ball cricket.
He was behind Knights left-hander Rilee Rossouw (295 runs in five innings) and Matthew Breetzke of the Warriors (190 in four).
Another Proteas batsman, Kyle Verreynne, has been chosen as the WP vice-captain.
“I feel excited, I feel confident. I’ve had quite a few lessons I’ve had to learn in the last season – balancing both individual performances and the leadership role,” Hamza said at Newlands on Thursday.
“I feel like I knocked my head against the wall enough times to learn that lesson, and I am looking forward to the season.
“It’s been good (to work with new coach Salieg Nackerdien). I’ve got a good relationship with ‘Snakes’, and I’ve played under him for the Western Province side before. Throughout my career, he’s congratulated me on certain achievements, and that support has given me a lot of confidence.
“I’ve enjoyed the past few weeks.”
Recently appointed WP coach Salieg Nackerdien was determined to get going in the 4-Day Series as well, which starts against the Dolphins at Newlands on Friday.
“I am really looking forward to working with these two guys in terms of the way forward, and hopefully we can get some positive results in this campaign,” Nackerdien said about the two leadership figures, Hamza and Verreynne.
“My philosophy is to create a good environment to start off, so that the players can understand and enjoy their cricket. Hopefully through that, there is trust and honesty in this system.
“When it comes down to preparation, they need to understand that they need to take responsibility. We’ll add value in terms of where we need to add value, but they need to enjoy it themselves from a players’ perspective.
“We also want to create those special moments, where we want to win trophies – that’s part of my mandate to them as well.”