McKenzie to become a Cobra?

2010-03-09 23:52

Altus Momberg

Cape Town – The Cape Cobras are the favourites to win the SuperSport Series this year, but have already set about building a team for next season.

They have acquired two new players and are close to signing another big fish in Neil McKenzie from the Highveld Lions. Young Lions wicketkeeper Dane Vilas, 24, and Johann Louw, who will play for the Cobras on Friday in a friendly match against English county Hampshire on Friday, are signed to play for the Cobras.

Louw, 30, was deemed surplus to company requirements by the Dolphins earlier this season, the Durban franchise having made the call to to concentrate on young players for the future.

McKenzie, axed as Lions captain earlier this season, is still considering the Cobras’ offer of a two-year contract, but the former Proteas opening batsman does own a house in the Cape.

The decision to lure the new players to the Cape will obviously raise questions about the futures of some of the current players, with wicketkeeper Ryan Canning and opening batsman Alastair Gray probably the players in biggest danger of losing their contracts. Both players only played for the Cobras’ four-day side this year.

Vilas may not be in Canning’s class as a wicketkeeper, but he is a dynamic batsman that will add value in all versions of the game.

He struggled for the Lions in the franchise competitions, but it was a different matter in the amateur series. He ended top of the list with an average of 95.50 runs in his four games.

It’s fairly ironic that Canning may lose his place to Vilas, though. Thami Tsolekile moved to Johannesburg at the start of the season because Canning had taken his place. Vilas then lost his place at the Lions because of Tsolekile’s arrival and now Vilas may take Canning’s place.

Cobras coach Shukri Conrad confirmed on Tuesday that Vilas and McKenzie, should they come to the Cape, would be released to play for the Lions in the Indian Champions League should they want to call on their services.

The Cobras currently lead the SuperSport points table with 94.44 points and just have to win one of their remaining two four-day games to secure the title.

They take on the Dolphins at Newlands from next Thursday before ending their campaign against the Warriors.


  • bulawayo-based-bok - 2010-03-10 00:26

    you can't really blame anyone who wants to leave Jozi!!.....jus like the rugby side, losing all their decent players at the end of a season :)........Tsokelike isn't in the same class as Vilas or Canning and shouldn't be the reason for either of them moving!.......Mckenzie is still a top quality batsmen and should be opening for the proteas, well him or Rudolph! Davids will be a big loss i fort he was just another one to "fill the numbers" but he really can smack it!.......will be intresting 2 see how they shape up against Hampshire who are probz missing all their saffas!

  • Cricket fan - 2010-03-10 07:22

    Gauteng cricket is in a mess. When pressure is put the union with quote players. People will not come watch the game soon. Then the team will become the Bafan Bafan of cricket. Over a period of time cricket will become nothing and the government will be happy as something else is not verking.

  • Gav - 2010-03-10 09:02

    Maccy good move, they can only mess you around so much. Lions are a complete joke, for a a province that should be the best in the country they suck, and have done so for so many years. Pity they have such a nice stadium what a waste. Dane Vilas you next to go.

  • StuartW - 2010-03-10 09:24

    Great move if he signs....looks like all sport in Lions territory is in shambles....

  • Titans fan - 2010-03-10 09:28

    "The Cape Cobras are the favourites to win the SuperSport Series this year". ????? The Titans have 2 home games against easy opposition and are 15 points adrift in second. The Cobras also have to play the Warriors (3rd place on the log) away, a very tough match. If the Cobras don't win another game plus the average 6.8 points per game they score per match (for 2 matches) they end up on ~108 points. If the Titans win both their games (20 points) plus the average 6.1 points per game they score per match (for 2 matches) they end up on ~112 points. The pressure is very much on the Cobras to win their only home game left. The Titans can still win both games and get the trophy! Back to Gauteng cricket and rugby, what the hell has happened with the stronghouse of SA sport?????

  • Abs - 2010-03-10 11:19

    The Cobra's can buy whoever they want but they will still not win because of their coach. Cobra's need a new coach, he is too long in his comfort zone. Cobra's fan.

  • Abs fan - 2010-03-10 12:17

    Abs - you hit the nail on the head - the coach needs to move on!!!!

  • Kofi - 2010-03-10 12:20

    If this move is to happen, this will be a positive move. The fall out between Niel and management may affect he's future contribution to the Lions. He still has lots to offer and the Cobras have a strong franchise which will help in this regard.

  • Ian - 2010-03-10 12:27

    say what you want, the warriors will become the number 1 franchise in SA cricket....WARRIORS!!!!

  • Cereal_Killa - 2010-03-10 12:34

    abs totally agree.....Shukri is killing WP cricket!! How he can constantly play ontong who is so out of form is beyond me.....then push up Kleinveld and philander and ontong ahead of our form batsman Stiaan is rediculous!! Shukri you are the weakest link, please LEAVE!!! 2 trophies in what about 5 years.....not good enough!!

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