CAPE TOWN - The Cape Cobras are alive again. Laughter and smiles abound at training, and the players are all hard at work.
It is basically normal service resumed, but considering where this team was last year at the same time, it is a startling renaissance. At the fore-front of this new beginning is coach Ashwell Prince and captain Dane Piedt.
Both are entering their first full seasons in their respective positions, after taking over halfway through last year’s chaos. They both have a burning desire to get the Cobras competing for trophies that once regularly adorned the Newlands cabinet, but are fully aware of the hard work that lays ahead. The toil begins this weekend with a pre-season trip to Oudtshoorn, where the Cobras will face the Warriors in two two-day games.
“I cannot wait for the season to start,” Piedt said. “I’m really excited. We will be looking to get some mileage in the bowlers’ legs and the batters some time in the middle.
“We will also be looking to work on a few different combinations. There is a lot of competition for places and you can feel the hunger amongst the guys to get stuck in.”
Coupled with Proteas Test batsman Temba Bavuma and fellow middle-order batsman Qaasim Adams returning to Cape Town from the Highveld Lions and Titans respectively, the Cobras can expect to challenge in all three competitions this year.
The Cobras will also be at a new home for two of their Sunfoil Series matches, with the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn being utilised while Boland Park gets revamped for the T20 Global League.
The trip down the N2 this weekend is therefore a fact-finding mission too.
“Seriously, though, we enjoy playing there. We played one Sunfoil Series match there last season and played some proper four-day cricket to beat the Lions. The pitch suits our style of play and the facilities are really good. We’re looking to put in some real good work this weekend,” Piedt said.