Former Proteas fast bowler Yusuf Abdulla has been appointed as the new coach of the Hollywoodbets KZN Inland team.
The Dundee-raised left-arm speedster, who played two T20 internationals for South Africa and enjoyed a successful career with the Dolphins, and both the KZN and KZN Inland sides, takes over the reins at the Pietermaritzburg hub from Shane Burger, who has taken up the position of Scotland head coach.
For 36-year-old Abdulla, whose quick, skiddy deliveries earned him the nickname “The Heater” and the “Dundee Express”, assuming the position as coach of the KZN Inland is the start of a new chapter in his cricket career, and he is eager to make an impact.
“I am very excited!” said Abdulla, who started his ride to prominence with the KZN Inland side when it was coached by Grant Morgan, now the head coach of the Hollywoodbets Dolphins.
“It is the start of a new journey in my cricketing career. It is not an easy journey as it is different from playing – you are on the side instead of being on the field – but for me, as long as I am part of it, I am enjoying it.
“I was in the system with Grant Morgan as a coach, and worked with Shane Burger as Inland captain and then worked as his assistant when he was coaching, so I got into a good groove with them.
“It is easy to build from where they left off,” he added, stressing that he was conscious that Inland are in a rebuilding phase.
“My relationship with Grant Morgan goes a long way back and I look forward to helping produce more players for the Hollywoodbets Dolphins,” said Abdulla.
“It is not an easy journey as it is different from playing – you are on the side instead of being on the field – but for me, as long as I am part of it, I am enjoying it.” – Yusuf Abdulla
He added that he wanted to continue the positive impact that Morgan and Burger had in making the Pietermaritzburg Oval a vibrant cricket hub.
“We have some good names in the side and there are a few others that are coming to join us this season at Inland,” he said.
In welcoming Abdulla to his new role KZN Cricket CEO Heinrich Strydom was confident he had the attributes to continue the success that Inland has enjoyed in recent years.
“As a player who first made his mark here, Yusuf knows and understands the cricket culture here in Pietermaritzburg,” said Strydom.
“He is passionate and excited about developing the current Inland side into a unit that is capable of winning titles, and keeping the Inland Blues supporters coming through the gates at the Oval.
“We wish him all the best and will offer him all the support he needs to achieve his goals,” he added.
Photo: Dave Macleod/Gameplan Media