Western Cape Cricket (WCC) must implement the recommendations of the national team’s former director Paddy Upton and, to ensure that this happens, aggrieved Cape Cobras players will this week approach the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
According to Tony Irish, executive head of the SA Cricketers’ Association, Upton’s recommendation was that the coach should be let go.
This appeared in Upton’s report, written in his capacity as mediator in the dispute between Paul Adams, the current Cape Cobras coach, and some of his senior players.
But despite this, the WCC board has decided to support Adams.
“All internal processes [to resolve the dispute] have been exhausted and the only alternative is the CCMA,” Irish told City Press’ sister paper, Rapport.
“Paddy was brought in as mediator and was nominated by the franchise. After conducting interviews with a number of parties and hearing all the issues, his recommendation was that the coach should resign.
“But the board refused to implement the recommendations, so we are going to approach the CCMA on that basis.”
According to Irish, at least 10 of the Cobras’ contracted players are part of the dispute. “The majority of them are senior players in the team. We know of certain players who do not want to get involved and who support the coach.
“There are, however, players contracted by Cricket SA who also play for the Cobras – and the majority of those players are also part of the dispute. I’m talking about guys like Vernon Philander and JP Duminy.”
Irish said it was regrettable the dispute had not been resolved this close to the start of the season.
Angelo Carolissen, chairperson of the WCC board, said Upton’s report made three recommendations and they decided on the best way forward. “The first was that matters go ahead as they are; the second was to retain Paul and to build structures around him to strengthen him,” Carolissen said.
“We have already done that by bringing in Ashwell Prince as assistant coach and also Alan Dawson, a former international player, who is the convener of the selection committee. That is already a step in the right direction.
“The last scenario was that Paul should distance himself from his post and be sent to other structures [within the union]. With all the information at our disposal from all the independent panels that were appointed to investigate, we decided not to get rid of Paul.”
Carolissen added they were not aware that players wanted to approach the CCMA, but said they had the right to do so.
The Cobras begin their cricket season on October 5 against the Lions in Johannesburg.