Cape Town - I’m no expert when it comes to coaching, but I think it’s pretty obvious that if a coach loses the respect, or influence in a dressing room, his position is doomed.
And that’s exactly the case for Paul Adams.
The Cape Cobras thrived under Adams’ tenure from the get-go and claimed five domestic titles.
However, the 'four-year itch' took its toll and the players seem to have had enough.
The Cobras are on the verge of a mutiny in their dressing room and only one 'Gogga' is to blame.
Adams’ appointment in 2012 raised many eyebrows as he became the youngest franchise coach in the country.
Known as the 'frog in a blender’ for his unorthodox bowling action, the former Proteas spinner was tasked to head one of the biggest and most successful franchises in South African cricket - a franchise that produced, not too long ago, several Proteas in their line-up, such as Jacques Kallis, Graeme Smith, Herschelle Gibbs and Charl Langeveldt.
All seemed to be fine and dandy, but clearly something had to have happened that led to several players coming forward to say that their coach was “technically and tactically inept”.
Although there’s no explanation as to why the aggrieved players want Adams to step down, the strenuous relationship is undoubtedly showing on the field.
Since the scandal broke, the Cobras have fallen to the bottom of the Sunfoil Series log, a tournament that they usually pride themselves on doing well in having won the title on four occasions.
The Cobras haven’t just lost three out of their five games, they’ve been thrashed by the Titans (an innings and 50 runs), Knights (175 runs) and the Lions (10 wickets).
Last Saturday the Cobras looked to start on a clean slate in their T20 Challenge opener against the Knights, but lost convincingly despite boasting an all-star team consisting of Richard Levi, Rory Kleinveldt and West Indian all-rounder Kieron Pollard.
Clearly the players aren’t happy. And having Adams (the problem) roam around isn’t helping either...
So what did the Western Cape Cricket (WCC) do?
After setting up a meeting between Adams and some of the senior players, former Proteas director Paddy Upton became the mediator and recommended that the coach had to go. However, the WCC decided the best way forward was to back Adams.
My question is: Why would the WCC board express their vote of confidence in a coach who seems to be making his players unhappy? It simply doesn't make sense.
Now let’s be fair, Adams has a great track record (as WCC will rightly remind you) but looking at the bigger picture one thing is more important than anything else: the players’ happiness.
The Proteas are a fine example. Their confidence and drive stems from the culture within their dressing room and the feeling of togetherness that emanates from their leadership. That's what the Cobras need, and that's why Adams should go!
In addition, the WCC appointed Alan Dawson and Ashwell Prince to assist and help the motley crew. Dawson’s time didn’t last long and two months down the line he stepped down as convenor of selectors saying that he could not "make any difference to the performance of the team”.
A week later, Prince jetted off to Australia to commentate on the Proteas Test tour. Not only is it a telling sign as to where some priorities lie (talking to you, Prince), but it seems as if the sporting environment at Newlands is full of thorns.
The Cobras play the reigning T20 Challenge champions the Titans on Wednesday, and ultimately as a fan I’d love to see the Cobras thriving on and off the field - with or without Paul Adams.