TELFORD VICE, Port Elizabeth
PAUL Adams will no longer be the Cobras’ coach, Western Cape Cricket (WCC) said in a release on Friday.
The release did not make clear whether Adams had been fired or had resigned, saying only – and vaguelly – that he would “be stepping down” on Sunday.
A subsequent release said Ashwell Prince, Adams’ assistant, would serve as caretaker coach for the rest of the season. Faiek Davids is Prince’s assistant.
Dane Piedt, who moved to the Titans on loan after struggling to get a game at Newlands, is now the Cobras’ interim captain.
Barney Mohammed replaces Alan Dawson as selection convenor.
The new regime will be in place for the Cobras’ first-class match against the Lions in Oudtshoorn on Thursday.
Adams’ position has been under threat since September, when it emerged that most of the Cobras’ contracted squad had lodged a formal grievance against him.
The matter went to the Commission for Conciliation, Mediation and Arbitration in October and in November the newly appointed Dawson resigned because, a South African Cricketers’ Association release at the time said, “he believes it is impossible to work in an environment in which there is a fundamental problem between players and coach”.
The further deterioration in that relationship and how the situation was dealt with by WCC could have led to a legal player strike.
Friday’s development is a defeat for WCC, who offered Adams a new two-year contract in May and have voiced their support for him throughout the impasse with the players.
The release made no mention of the problems of recent months except to say WCC chair Beresford Williams “rejected with contempt certain allegations that Adams’ successes as coach had somehow been the result of outside factors and said he had been a model in his passion and approach”.
Adams has won or shared five trophies across all formats in his four years in charge and guided five previously uncapped players to international level.
He has apparently fallen out with his squad over allegations that his core coaching and management skills are lacking.
The headline of Friday’s release was a laughable attempt to put a positive spin on what has been a damaging episode in the franchise’s history: “Paul Adams appointed as WCC high performance manager and coach”.
The release said that the position had been newly created.