Dane Vilas believes the appointment of Ashwell Prince will bring passion to the Cape Cobras on their hunt for a title-winning domestic campaign.
Despite the Cobras nailing down the assistant coach services of Prince, the Cobras have been rocked by the news that the players have lodged an official complaint to SACA on their coach, Paul Adams.
This is sure to cause a stir in the coaching hierarchy, and it could very well see Prince move up to the head role in the not-too-distant future.
Cobras and Proteas wicketkeeper-batsman Dane Vilas, chatting exclusively to SACricketmagazine.com, has chosen not to delve into the controversy, but looks forward to the appointment of an experienced international campaigner.
Prince’s international Test career was impressive scoring at an average of 41.64 and a First-Class average of 44.43, but it is now off the field, in his relatively new career as a coach, where he needs to direct his passion of the game, with or without Adams.
‘I think it is a positive appointment. The experience that he brings domestically and internationally will be a huge asset to the team,’ says Vilas.
The Cobras not only experienced a disappointing domestic season, but they went through their campaign showing little passion as they lost emphatically in the Momentum One Day Cup final against the Lions in February. Vilas believes that Prince will bring passion to the team who ended their campaign trophy-less last season.
‘The passion that he still has for the game is contagious and I am really looking forward to working with someone of his calibre and improving my game.’
Prince will have to use his experience as SA A batting coach to his advantage to help develop and improve the current players perfomrances and Vilas can really benefit more from his input on his hunt for a Proteas call up as well as a successful domestic campaign.
‘I was lucky enough to spend some time working with him in Australia with the SA A team on our most recent tour and really benefitted from his knowledge. ‘ said Vilas.
‘Personally I want to move forward with where I left off last season. I had a fantastic season with bat and gloves in the 4 day and 1 day competitions.
‘It was such a privilege and life goal getting my Proteas Test cap. It is always hard being dropped and obviously I want to keep pushing to get a shot back in the team. I know it is going to be extremely difficult but I can only keep pushing to be the best that I can be.
‘For the Cobras, we want to get back to winning ways and put those trophies back in the cabinets.’
Prince will have to use his insight to help coach Paul Adams build and develop the young players in the squad. During his stint as SA slector and the former Proteas vice-captain was very much a part of the committee responsible for the rise of Kagiso Rabada, Temba Bavuma and Tabraiz Shamsi and he should look to do the same for the new talent in the Cobras squad.
Besides the international talent in the squad, Vilas believes that the inclusion of their two new young talents will help boost their chances this season.
‘We have two new signings at the Cobras in Jason Smith and Zubaya Hamza who have both had good performances in the amateur leagues and impressed this winter at the Academy so those are defiantly guys to keep an eye on.’
Written by Khalid Mohidin.
Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix