‘I’ve learnt a lot’ — Prince happy with qualification
● Before Ashwell Prince received his Cricket SA Level 3 coaching certificate last week, not only did he right the Cape Cobras over the past 23 months, he led them to four consecutive Four-Day Franchise Series wins.
Along came the prized paper, the lack of which caused controversy when he was appointed and the Cobras got a 186-run hammering against the Highveld Lions in Paarl. A month earlier they had routed this same side by an innings and 71 runs. Despite the setback, the Cape Cobras stay top of the log.
Prince said the bulk of his coaching journey has been about self-discovery.
“There was a lot said about me not having the certificate but a lot of people were employed without that qualification. But if you feel the certificate is going to make the difference, that’s another debate,” Prince said.
“I’ve gone there, I’ve got my certificate and I’m happy that I’ve got it. You may have had a storied professional career but you won’t know everything about the game. It remains a learning process because coaching, managing and playing are three different departments. There’s a lot that I’ve learnt and my eyes have been opened to things that I wasn’t quite aware of.”
The Cape Cobras Prince is in charge of is a different group compared to the one squared up with former coach Paul Adams.
Relations with Adams and the players broke down to a point where players lodged a dispute with the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA).
When Prince replaced his long-time provincial and national teammate at the end of 2016, there still was a long road ahead.
Though Prince said he’s had a new team, the two Danes, Piedt and Paterson, have been at the forefront of the 2018/19 FirstClass renaissance.
The off-spinner and the fast bowler from the Adams era have taken 22 and 26 wickets to occupy third and first on the bowling statistics respectively.
Tladi Bokako’s contributions of 21 scalps puts him third.
Another remnant of the Adams era in Pieter Malan has guided the young batting line-up with 472 runs at 54.66.
He’s second behind Knights captain Pite van Biljon (572 runs at 63.77) while Janneman Malan (327 runs at 36.33), David Bedingham (270 runs at 33.75) and Zubayr Hamza (255 runs at 31.87) have chipped in.
“There aren’t that many of those players left in the dressing room. This is more or less a new squad and the board allowed me to build my own squad. There are a couple of players left from that era like Dane Piedt and Dane Paterson and they’ve been key.
“However, it’s a new squad and they weren’t part of whatever was going on at the time,” Prince said.
Ashwell Prince has helped the Cape Cobras get off to a quiet but good FirstClass start.