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Zondo out to build on 2021/22 success

Durban - After a season to remember that included a test debut, Hollywoodbets Dolphins star Khaya Zondo is eager to improve on his past season that saw him win the Player of the Year and coveted Players' Player of the Year awards at the Dolphins end of season awards.

Zondo contributed across the board for the Dolphins last season but has been at the forefront of the team's success for many seasons having joined the union after leaving Westville Boys' High School nearly fifteen years ago.

His introduction to test cricket was an unusual one when he replaced SJ Erwee, after Erwee contracted Covid-19, in Qheberha on day four and only fielded as the Proteas thrashed Bangladesh that day by 332 runs.

His day would come on the tour of England where he played his first full test match against the English at the Oval in what was to be a memorable test following the passing of the Queen. Zondo made contributions in both innings despite the Proteas falling to defeat in both the test and the series.

To finally get a full taste of the test match atmosphere has left the 32-year-old wanting more.

"Just having that experience of batting in a test match in England was big for me," Zondo said. "I enjoyed the challenge and when you go through those conditions against those types of bowlers you get that feeling that you can handle yourself at this level.

"It's just a matter of being able to get the experience and learn the tricks of the trade at that level which is key but that only comes with opportunity, but performances as well.

"You think to yourself that this is where you want to play your cricket and where you want to retire. You want to get as much game time and as much experience at that level."

Just reflecting on the match at the Oval, Zondo was conscious of taking it all in.

"We were facing Jimmy Anderson and Stuart Broad, two of the greatest fast bowlers ever, and it doesn't really get better than that when it comes to cricket."

Zondo took home the two biggest awards at the recent Dolphins awards, however, to be honoured by his team-mates was the biggest prize.

"The Players' Player of the Year is a nice one to win because it's voted for by people that you work with every day. People that you go through highs and lows with and it's nice to get that recognition from them.

"You share a lot of your time and experiences with your colleagues.”

"For them to give me this award is an honour and I really appreciate it," Zondo commented.

The Hollywoodbets Dolphins begin their season with the CSA T20 Challenge at Senwes Park in Potchefstroom starting on Monday, 17 October.