Cape Town – The Cape Cobras have been boosted by the
acquisition of two former international stars in senior roles at the home of
Cape cricket. Ashwell Prince, a former South African stalwart who represented
the Proteas in 66 tests, has been appointed as the Cobras’ assistant coach.
Alan Dawson, an admirable exponent of swing bowling who represented
Western Province and the Cape Cobras for 15 years, has been picked as the
Convenor of the Cape Cobras’ selection committee.
Prince resigned from the national selection committee to
make himself available as assistant coach. He also recently fulfilled the role
of batting consultant on tour with the South Africa A-team in Australia.
As a middle-order batsman, Prince forged a reputation as
a defiant player whose dogged determination set him apart. He struck 900 runs
at an average of 64.28 for South Africa in 2008. Following injury and a brief
period on the side-lines, he celebrated his return to the South African team in
2009 by scoring 150 at PPC Newlands in the unfamiliar role of opening batsman.
Prince was internationally revered for his grit and single-minded
pursuit of excellence. He played a pivotal role in South Africa’s rise to the
number-1 position in the world under Graeme Smith’s captaincy.
Dawson captured 302 wickets in 98 first-class matches and
was an exponent of the art of swing bowling in tandem with Charl Willoughby,
Charl Langeveldt, Eric Simons and Craig Matthews.
He represented South Africa in two tests and 19 One Day
Internationals, and was part of the South African team that reached the
semi-finals at the Cricket World Cup in 1999.
His never-say-die-spirit, unwavering commitment to the
team cause and brave-hearted performances endeared him to a legion of fans at
Dawson said his main focus would be consistency in
selection and an open door policy to players.
He would like to assist in making Cape Cobras a domestic
powerhouse and helping them to return to the summit of the logs.
He also believes in frankness and openness and liaising
with former colleagues and members of the extended family of Cape Cobras
players in assisting where needed to make the Cobras an even greater force.
Prince said his premier role would be to assist the
Cobras in winning trophies again.
He is also determined to mentor the younger players in
making the step up and to fulfil their potential, even propelling them to the
Prince was philosophical about playing style. He said
although he put a high price on his wicket, he won’t expect players in the Cape
Cobras’ set-up to play similarly. He would rather see them express themselves
in a way that does justice to their own characters.
Yet, they also have to assess the game situation
accurately and play accordingly, he added.
Prince blasted his highest first-class score in his final
first-class season and therefore doesn’t subscribe to the theory that players
on the wrong side of 30 are necessarily one season away from retirement.
“Age is not a factor. The senior veterans in the Cape
Cobras team have been around the block and they know what is required to
achieve success. The most important characteristic is the motivation to
reproduce the goods.
“I would like us as a team to play for one another and to
work as a strong unit. It is a game of small margins, and when it is tight, the
scales will tilt in the direction of the team with a strong cohesion,” he
Angelo Carolissen, chairman of the board of Western Cape
Cricket, hailed the appointment of the two professionals. “It is great to have
an iconic, world-class former player like Ashwell on board. He is a true
professional and will add value to the support structure and performances of
the team. His experience as a batting consultant is invaluable to the team.
“It is also great to have a former true blood Western
Province star like Dawson involved in the structures. He was a wholehearted
performer. His knowledge of the game and of the current crop of players would
add value to the Cape Cobras,” he said.