June 19, 1995, Cape Town, Cape Province
Right hand bat
Rondebosch Boys HS
Zubayr Hamza became South Africa's 100th Test player since readmission when he was picked for the third Test against Pakistan in January 2019. A middle order batsman who combines free-flowing batting ability with the willingness to knuckle down and grit out an innings, Hamza earned his call-up after a couple of consistent seasons for Cape Cobras took his First Class average to within touching distance of 50.
Born and raised in Cape Town, Hamza matriculated from Rondebosch Boys High School, an institution with notable cricketing alumni such as Jonathan Trott, Gary Kirsten, HD Ackerman and Andrew Puttick, who also played an early role in guiding Hamza's development before he blossomed under coaches Ashwell Prince and Faiek Davids at the Cape Cobras franchise.
Hamza forsook his love for football to pursue a life in cricket as his talent came to the fore in successive Western Province age-group sides. He made his First Class debut for the provincial senior side in early 2014, making enough of an impression to be included in the South African Emerging Players trip to Sri Lanka the following year, alongside the likes of Aiden Markram and Heinrich Klaasen. Hamza was a franchise cricketer shortly after his 21st birthday, settling in at Cobras, and was included in South Africa A's trip to India in late July 2018. He made a strong impression with a ton in his first innings, before adding a fifty and narrowly missing out on a second hundred in the second four-day game.
While Hamza failed to secure a contract for the inaugural Mzansi Super League in late 2018, his stocks in cricket's longer formats continued to rise and when captain Faf du Plessis had to sit out the third Test against Pakistan while under suspension, Hamza seemed an obvious replacement.
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