Cape Cobras head coach Paul Adams has received a vote of confidence from the Western Cape Cricket board, after 14 contracted players made an official complaint against him.
Last week, South African Cricketers’ Association Head of Player Services and Advocacy Andrew Breetzke confirmed to Club Cricket SA: “The majority of the contracted Cobras players have lodged a formal grievance. The grievance relates to a material breakdown in their relationship with the coach.”
Former Proteas strength and mental conditioning coach Paddy Upton was later appointed as mediator, but the WCC board “found material deficiencies” in his report.
WCC board chairman has Angelo Carolissen has since confirmed: “The extended contract signed with the coach remains in place. No material break of the coach’s contract was established.
“We deeply respect the concerns raised by the players and want to state that they are priceless assets to Cape Cobras’ cricket. We have taken into account that Paul is a young coach.
“Unity is not negotiable. We will have a hands-on approach to grow Adams’ leadership prowess. We will also commit ourselves to improving the morale, spirit and work ethic of the team more.”
Former South Africa spin bowler Adams assumed his current position in 2012. The Cape Cobras shared the Momentum One Day Cup title with the Lions and Titans in 2012-13 and 2013-14 – and won South Africa’s premier first-class competition, the Sunfoil Series, in the same seasons. In 2014-15, they clinched the Ram Slam T20 Challenge crown.
The 2015-16 season brought defeat in the One Day Cup final, a semi-final exit in the T20 Challenge – and a disappointment fourth-place finish in the Sunfoil Series on the back of just three wins in 10 fixtures.
“I respect the players and have taken the learnings to heart. I feel we will have a better understanding of each other going forward,” said Adams.
“I have also committed to up-skilling myself to ensure effective leadership and to produce and maintain the quality and brand of cricket that the Cape Cobras are synonymous for.”
Proteas cricketers Hashim Amla, Dale Steyn, Wayne Parnell, Vernon Philander, Dane Piedt, JP Duminy and Stiaan van Zyl – and former T20I international captain Ontong – are among the 18 players contracted by the Cobras.
The other 10 are first-class captain Omphile Ramela, wicketkeeper-batsmen Andrew Puttick and Dane Vilas, batsmen Keegan Petersen and Richard Levi – and seamers Beuran Hendricks, Dane Paterson, Lizaad Williams, Rory Kleinveldt and Tshepo Moreki.