Zubayr Hamza, the 23-year-old Cape Cobras batsman, has been named as a potential new cap in the Proteas squad for the three-match Test series against Pakistan which starts at SuperSport Park, Centurion, on December 26.
The other matches will be played at PPC Newlands from January 3 and at the Bidvest Wanderers from January 11.
Cricket South Africa (CSA) announced a 13-man squad for the series today that also features the return of Knights fast bowler Duanne Olivier in place of the injured Lungi Ngidi.
Olivier was part of the squad for the previous home Test series against Australia and has represented the Proteas in five Test matches.
“Zubayr has been one of the standout cricketers in domestic cricket over the past year and carried that form into the South Africa A's tour to India where he averaged over 50 in the four-day series against tough opposition and under tough conditions,” said CSA National Selection Panel (NSP) convener Linda Zondi.
“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,” explained Zondi.
“As unfortunate as Lungi’s injury is we are blessed to have outstanding depth in our fast bowling resources.
"Duanne has impressed on his previous appearances for the Proteas and has had a good franchise season to date with 20 wickets in his five matches at an average of 22.80.
“Tladi Bokako will work with the squad as a learning experience during the series in a continuation of the initiative we started with Kagiso Rabada and continued with Matthew Breetzke earlier in the season.
"He has had a good debut season for the Cape Cobras with 21 wickets at 26.33 to date.
“We will continue to identify young players with the potential to become future Proteas,” concluded Zondi.
If Hamza gains selection in the final XI he will become the 100th player to represent the Proteas in the five-day format.
Standard Bank Proteas Test squad: Faf du Plessis (Multiply Titans, capt), Hashim Amla (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Temba Bavuma (Bizhub Highveld Lions), Theunis de Bruyn (Multiply Titans), Quinton de Kock (Multiply Titans), Dean Elgar (Multiply Titans), Zubayr Hamza (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Keshav Maharaj (Hollywoodbets Dolphins), Aiden Markram (Multiply Titans), Duanne Olivier (VKB Knights), Vernon Philander (World Sports Betting Cape Cobras), Kagiso Rabada (Bizhub Highveld Lions), Dale Steyn (Multiply Titans).
Pakistan tour fixtures:
December 26-30: 10 am, 1st Test match, SuperSport Park, Centurion
January 3-7: 10.30 am 2nd Test match, PPC Newlands, Cape Town
January 11-15: 10 am, 3rd Test match, Bidvest Wanderers Stadium, Johannesburg
African News Agency (ANA)