Cape Town - The Cape Cobras have appointed the former South African batting icon Ashwell Prince as caretaker head coach until the end of the 2016/2017 campaign with immediate effect, while Faiek Davids will be his assistant coach.
Prince’s first match in charge will be in the Sunfoil Series clash against the Highveld Lions at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn starting on the January 5th.
Paul Adams, who has been at the helm as coach since June 2012, has been appointed as high performance manager of the Cape Cobras.
The WCC board also approved the appointment of the South African off-spinner Dane Piedt as interim-captain of the team for the rest of the 2016-/2017 season.
“Paul’s new role is pivotal, as he will be the caretaker and manager of the pipeline structures, nurturing the next generation of franchise players,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of Western Cape Cricket (WCC).
“We have opted to make these significant changes in order to address the current slide in the form of the Cape Cobras,” added Dien.
“We trust that the appointment of Dane will ignite the Cobras. He is a selfless cricketer with an excellent game awareness and a natural motivator, and we believe he will be inspirational,” Dien explained.
“Last season was the first one in eight seasons in which we had an empty trophy cabinet. This season, we have lost three of our first five Sunfoil Series matches and we are hovering at the basement of the log in the Sunfoil Series.
“In the CSA T20 Challenge we could not reach the play-offs after winning the domestic T20 showpiece in December 2014 and reaching the semi-final last season,” said Dien.
“We believe that Ashwell possesses the international pedigree, the management skills and the interpersonal prowess to rejuvenate the Cobras.
"We firmly trust he can restore their pride and lift them to the summit of the logs in the Sunfoil Series and the Momentum One-Day Cup,” Dien said.
“He is not only a veteran of 66 tests for South Africa, striking 11 centuries, but was also a trophy-winning captain of the Cape Cobras. Ashwell was also part of a record partnership of 501 for Lancashire during his distinguished career,” said Dien.
“The ultimate challenge for any coach is to instil confidence in each player and to inspire them to perform at the peak of their collective powers while operating as a close-knit unit.
“Prince displayed the traits that are required as a leader while wearing the captain’s armband for the Cobras, and was also a national captain in the absence of Graeme Smith,” said Dien.
“The Board of WCC have pursued all avenues available to us in order to ensure that the best interests of the Cape Cobras’ cricketing family were served in the current season.
“The performances by the Cape Cobras have been well below the standards set by the WCC Board.
“The immediate mandate of Ashwell and Faiek is to establish a match-winning unit that consistently challenges for trophies and to return the Cape Cobras to the status as South Africa’s top franchise and the premier conveyor belt of international players,” Dien said.
“As a board we are confident that Ashwell as head coach, and Faiek as assistant coach, will establish a culture of success and that consistent wins will become habitual again,” Dien remarked.
Beresford Williams, chairperson of the WCC Board, said: “It is the start of a new dawn, but we want to thank Paul for his service as coach to the Cobras during a period of South African domestic cricket domination.
"When he initially emerged as a Western Province, and later international cricketer, he inoculated cricket with his flair and dynamism and as a coach he left his imprint not only on the Cobras, but also on the emergence of young international cricketers like Stiaan van Zyl, Dane Piedt and Beuran Hendricks.
"We believe Ashwell has the persona, the credentials and the determination to inspire the Cobras to new heights, with the astute assistance of a man known for his indomitable spirit, Faiek Davids.”
Ebrahim (Barney) Mohammed, who boasts a wealth of experience at all levels and represented Western Province and Transvaal in the South African Cricket Board era, has been appointed as convener of the Cape Cobras’ selection committee.