Lwandiswa Zuma bowls against the Dolphins in the 2016 T20 Challenge. Photo: Gerhard Duraan/BackpagePix

DURBAN - There is a sense, at Kingsmead, that bringing Lwandiswa Zuma back to the kingdom is a homecoming of sorts.

The Maritzburg College product left for Bloemfontein, just as his buddy Lungi Ngidi went to the Titans.

That double blow was seen as a major oversight, given the shortage of strapping fast bowlers in general.

And so, when the signing of Zuma was confirmed this week, it was a sort of balancing the books again.

"I think it's good for him to be back home. He's had a bit of a tough time in Bloemfontein, especially with injuries," head of amateur cricket Jay Naidoo explained.

Naidoo has seen Zuma rise through the ranks, and has no doubt in his potential.

"When he was coming through the system, we felt he was every bit as good as Lungi. Just as talented," Naidoo explained.

Given the strides that Ngidi has made in his maiden franchise season, that is exciting news for the Dolphins.

Their pace battery was nearly exhausted this term, with a swathe of injuries really stretching those who stayed fit.

With Craig Alexander gone, Zuma will add exuberance and genuine pace to the ranks.

"We've also given full contracts to Rabian Engelbrecht and Senuran Muthusamy, who have both had good seasons," Naidoo added.

Keshav Maharaj and Andile Phehlukwayo have been handed national contracts, and there is a growing feeling in Durban that they may not be alone for much longer.

Skipper Khaya Zondo has just finished a most accomplished season with the bat, particularly in the four-day format.

It is anticipated that he will be on the list of names that go to the UK for the South African A side, while the senior side is there too.

Zondo has already had a taste of the national squad, having toured India with the ODI outfit – though he is yet to make his international bow.

Along with top-order man Vaughn van Jaarsveld, he is expected to be rewarded for a terrific domestic return, and continue to stake a claim for higher honours.

Given that the 'A' tour also has a limited-overs component, it could really be a busy winter for Zondo, and he will have the chance to showcase his credentials against a solid England back-up outfit.

With holes emerging in the Proteas senior side, it may be a very timely year for players like Zondo, who surely have one eye on the next rung of the ladder.

Independent Media