The Cape Cobras will begin the new year with a new-look administration and a new captain, signalling the end of Omphile Ramela’s one-year reign.
Dane Piedt, who recently announced he was considering an overseas position, was named as the interim captain until the end of the season. He will work under an interim coach, Ashwell Prince, who takes over from the beleaguered Paul Adams.
Prince resigned as a national selector to be appointed an assistant coach to Adams at the height of his dispute with senior players, unhappy at his style of management.
Ramela was appointed captain in late December last year, at a time that the Cobras were struggling to regain the form which had made them such formidable opponents in all formats.
Coach Paul Adams said at the time of Ramela’s appointment: ‘It’s part of us identifying a leadership group within our squad, and also with some experience around him I think he’ll grow into the role.’
One year on, and the CEO of Western Province Cricket, Nabeal Dien, commented: ‘We have opted to make these significant changes in order to address the current slide in the form of the Cape Cobras.’
‘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.’
Piedt, like Ramela, was loaned out for the T20 competition, but he played just two matches for the Titans before being selected for the South African Invitation team to play the Sri Lankans at Potchefstroom in early December. Ramela captained that team, while Piedt did not bat or bowl in the match.
‘Last season was the first one in eight seasons in which we had an empty trophy cabinet,’ added Dien. ‘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.
‘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.
‘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.’
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