Cape Town Blitz looking to dominate, especially with the bat
CAPE TOWN – Ashwell Prince is always honest, and the Cape Town Blitz coach once again shot straight from the hip.
The Blitz enjoyed a hugely successful maiden Mzansi Super League debut season last year, finishing runners-up and actually qualifying for a home final with a game to spare. But Prince, never one to only see the shiny side, gave an honest assessment of his team’s 2018 campaign yesterday, and is certainly looking for all-round improvement.
“There are one or two areas we want to improve on,” Prince said ahead of Friday’s opener against Jozi Stars. “Of course, in the batting department, we had good partnerships up front between Quinny (de Kock) and Janneman (Malan) - Quinny was one of the top scorers in the tournament and the MVP. But to be honest with ourselves, we never had enough partnerships throughout the campaign.
“Quinny led from the front as a national player, Jannas has a decent tournament as a young player but we struggled in the rest of your batting. In the end, to qualify with a game to spare for the home final wasn’t an honest reflection of where we were as a team. We snuck home in a few games but you just felt there was no rhythm, especially in the batting department.”
The Blitz have acted swiftly to shore up the batting unit - both on and off the field. English duo Moeen Ali - for the first two games - and Liam Livingstone have both been drafted into the Blitz squad this season, with David Malan and former Proteas middle-order batsman Farhaan Behardien released.
Significantly, the Newlands-based team have also acquired the services of former Proteas star Hashim Amla, who will join the Blitz coaching staff as the team’s batting consultant.
De Kock will have the added responsibility of leading the team with Behardien now at the Nelson Mandela Bay Giants.
After a successful stint with the Proteas recently in India, leading the tourists to a drawn 1-1 T20I series result, the wicket-keeper/batsman is keen to continue his development.
“I think it’s important for me if I had to lead to show the youngsters that it’s not just an easy ride, to score a couple of runs ... from a South African leadership point of view, I think I play quite a big role here in showing what it means to be a Protea and what it’s going to take to be there.”@ZaahierAdams