CAPE TOWN - Ashwell Prince may have been a hard grafter during his playing days, but every team he coaches will play with flair and confidence.
In his short time at the helm of the Cape Cobras, Prince along with captain Dane Piedt, has been very open about his desire for the Cobras players to go out on to the park and express themselves. Now in a different guise, but with the pair still together at Cape Town Blitz, the mantra remains the same for the upcoming Mzansi Super League.
“We want to play exciting cricket. Quinton de Kock is our marquee player and we know the flair that he plays the game with. And hopefully the team will follow. We have a youthful team and the boys will be vibrant in the field. We have some young guys like (Andile) Phehlukwayo, (Sibonelo) Makhanya and even though Farhaan Behardien is 35 already, he is still one of the best fielders around,” Prince said at the Cape Town Blitz launch.
Cape Town Blitz certainly have the arsenal to set Newlands alight during the Mzansi Super League, starting with the tournament opener against the Tshwane Spartans on 16 November. Although Proteas quartet De Kock, Behardien, Phehlukwayo and Dale Steyn will miss the opening stages of the tournament due to their involvement in the one-day international series against Australia Down Under, there is sufficient quality within the Cape Town Blitz ranks.
The arrival of England batsman Dawid Malan at Newlands will also off-set the loss of JP Duminy, who is undergoing a shoulder operation today. Malan may not be a show-stopper like West Indies duo Chris Gayle or Dwayne Bravo, but he will certainly fit into the culture Prince will be hoping to create at Cape Town Blitz. More importantly, he will also be available for the entire duration of the Mzansi Super League unlike many of the other overseas players.
“A lot of people may have been surprised by the pick. Maybe not as well known as the other players, but what we had to consider was the availability of the overseas players. Most of the guys are only available from December 4 until the end of the tournament, effectively missing seven out of the 10 games,” Prince said.
“We couldn’t take that risk. From a team environment point of view, you also want as little distractions as possible in terms of players coming in and going out. There were only two of the overseas players available pre and post the T10 event.”