Ashwell Prince advocates for club cricket again, comments on Josh Chippendale exit

Ashwell Prince.Ashwell Prince.

Former Cape Cobras head coach Ashwell Prince has reiterated the importance of club cricket – and effectively questioned the influence of school cricket.

Prince attended Strandfontein Cricket Club’s awards ceremony for the 2021-22 Western Province Cricket Association season recently.

The event was held at Newlands, where batsman Joshua¬†Chippendale was named Strandfontein Cricket Club’s Rookie of the Year, Players’ Player of the Year, Most Valuable Player and Batsman of the Year – first XI.

Chippendale recently joined the Warriors in the Eastern Cape on a high performance contract. He made one appearance for them in the One Day Cup earlier this year.

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What Prince said

“I’m a big believer in club cricket and I’ve always been someone who advocates for club cricket versus schools cricket,” Prince was quoted as saying by the Plainsman.

“I’ve always believed that you can play in the first team at Bishops, Wynberg, Rondebosch, SACS – the people sitting next to you are maybe in grade 11 or 12, but how much do they really know about the game of cricket? How much knowledge are they imparting to a young player who’s coming into the first team in grade eight?

“My question is, who’s teaching them? When you go to a club like Strandfontein and you get into the first team as a 14- or 15-year old, you get some hardened players who can teach you the game.

“And they’d know what they were talking about. The guidance is not just about cricket, it’s also about life skills, how to handle situations. You hear and learn a lot about cricket that you wouldn’t hear about in schoolboy cricket.

Joshua Chippendale.

Joshua Chippendale.

“But you have to ask the question, why is it that guys like Josh Chippendale have to make a career outside Cape Town. The talent is not being recognised in his own province, which means there’s a lot of problems in the system or pipeline.

“The school system is a national sort of breeding ground or feeder system, a pipeline into professional cricket. But then you have people like us, who come from what I refer to as the other side of the tracks – the club system.

“I think that sometimes the integration from club cricket into the system is harder. Even people in the media follow school cricket so closely that when you talk about a name, everybody knows that name and people are kind of waiting for that player to come through the ranks.”

Prince played for Gelvandale Cricket Club in Port Elizabeth several years ago and, more recently, Victoria Cricket Club in the Western Province Veteran Cricketers Association league.

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