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Former Proteas spin bowler Paul Adams will be unveiled as the new coach of the Cape Cobras on Tuesday.
And he will immediately be tasked with the twin objectives of uniting an uneasy dressing room and to continue their trophy-winning form.
Adams, known as “Gogga”, takes the reins following the surprise resignation of Richard Pybus in March, two years into his three-year contract.
Adams beat off the challenges of local coaches Barney Mohammed, Salieg Nackerdien and Andy Moles, the latter having guided the successful UWC club side in the past season.
Pybus, who led the Cobras franchise to three titles in his two seasons at the helm, has taken over as coach of Bangladesh.
In his place comes Adams, the veteran of 45 Test matches (134 wickets) and 24 ODIs (29 wickets), but who is still relatively new to the coaching game and for whom the Cobras will be a massive step up in intensity after various stints on the local cricketing scene. He has coached the Western Province Academy, has been a spin bowling consultant to Cricket South Africa and most recently was assistant coach of the Impi franchise in the domestic T20 competition.
While Pybus moulded the Cobras into a winning outfit, his methods didn’t always hold universal appeal and he resigned claiming he had been undermined by Western Province Cricket chief executive André Odendaal. At the same time, a group of players had approached Odendaal with a list of grievances directed against Pybus, amid talk of a dressing room split along racial lines.
So as Adams steps into arguably the most pressurised situation he has faced since his halcyon days as an international cricketer, he will look to move quickly to unite the dressing room under his command.
And key to whether the affable 35-year-old can pull off the position as head coach, will be who he surrounds himself with.
It is believed that Justin Ontong will be named as Cobras team captain after former skipper Justin Kemp stepped down shortly after Pybus’ resignation. At the time Kemp said it was time for someone else to lead the side and that he would be concentrating on making the best possible contribution as an all-rounder in the squad.
Ontong has previously led the Cobras but gave up the captaincy in a bid to revive his stalled international career. Now that he is once again part of the Proteas’ set up, based on a couple of outstanding seasons with the Cobras, it is believed the Bolander was open to taking the reins again.
It is not known who Adams’ various assistants in the coaching team will be, although those details are expected to be finalised in the coming days so that the Cobras can get the show on the road by early next month.
The 2011-12 season ended poorly, with the local side not making the play-offs in the domestic T20 competition. This event, normally in the second half of the season, will be a key one for the new coach, since management at least wants to make the final, guaranteeing qualification for the lucrative Champions League, which features the best T20 sides from around the world.