Young Hollywoodbets Dolphins fast bowler Lwandiswa Zuma has returned to KwaZulu-Natal, the province of his birth, after a tough off-season with the Powerade National Academy, and is eagerly looking forward to the upcoming domestic season.
Zuma, who has played in ten first class games, returns to his home province from the Knights franchise and despite the excitement of joining the Dolphins he is making sure that he learns and grows as much as possible with the Academy.
“It has been hard but I knew that it was going to be a lot of hard work,” Zuma mentioned.
“The programme that we have had has been really tough but that is what it is about. They are trying to nurture us and make sure that we are in the right frame of mind both physically and mentally.”
A number of former Proteas stars have been helping the National Academy this week with the likes of Jonty Rhodes, Herschelle Gibbs and Robin Peterson sharing their expertise. Zuma has found this input invaluable.
“It’s a wonderful initiative to have people that have done so much for the country here,” Zuma said in an interview with Cricket South Africa recently. “I think I speak on behalf of the group to say that we are very privileged to have such legends here with us.
“A lot of what was said had been said by our own coaches, but I think when you hear it from legends, it really kicks in.
“It has a bigger effect on us and hopefully everyone got what they needed to get out of this and we apply it in our games.”
Following their tough training schedule with the Academy, there will be a National Academy side selected to tour Zimbabwe and despite being part of the set-up there are no guarantees that Zuma will be in that squad.
“To make the touring side is definitely my main goal this winter. There are so many good players there and to make the side will be a great achievement for me.”
While not looking too far into the future, Zuma has laid out his ambitions for the upcoming season with an eye on cementing a spot in the Hollywoodbets Dolphins line-up.
“I want to play regularly for the Dolphins this season.
“Gaining some franchise experience and coming back here means that I think that I am on the same level as a lot of the guys now and I am looking forward to fighting for my place in the side.”
Joining Zuma in the Powerade National Academy from the Hollywoodbets Dolphins are batting all-rounder Senuran Muthusamy and fast bowler Okuhle Cele.
KZN Inland coach Shane Burger is also with the squad as the assistant coach to Malibongwe Maketa.