New seamer Tladi Bokako has been impressive since joining the Cape Cobras during the winter. Photo: Chris Ricco/BackpagePix

CAPE TOWN – There may be a new team in town, but Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince is hoping his players can keep their mind on the job at hand in Monday’s crucial four-day clash against the Titans in Centurion.

The domestic cricket world was abuzz with the Mzansi Super League last week with the new teams, venues, fixtures and squads being announced.

Even Prince was involved in his new role as head coach of the Cape Town Blitz. 

But with the Cobras leading the four-day log after recording two wins in the first two rounds, Prince wants his team to focus on the daily bread again.

“There are massive distractions,” Prince said about the Mzansi Super League.

“Obviously players are now looking forward to the MSL, and some players will be playing for the Cape Town Blitz and some for other teams.

“They are probably thinking about combinations in other teams, and how it’s going to work out for them.

“There are major distractions, and the first thing we said at training was that we need to focus on Cobras business.

“Hopefully by the time we get to SuperSport Park, we could have soaked everything up in terms of the MSL, and get back to what has been a good start for us in the four-day competition,” he added.

The Cobras will certainly need to be on the money, with the Titans posing a formidable challenge.

The home team are the defending champions, and they will be eager to get their four-day campaign running after a stop-start beginning to the season.

The Titans have also had their own fair share of distractions, with Mark Boucher’s team competing in the Abu Dhabi T20 League between two rounds of four-day cricket.

And although they have lost a host of players to the Proteas for the tour to Australia, they still boast formidable players such as Test specialists Dean Elgar and Theunis de Bruyn in their line-up.

“All the teams in the competition are tough. They are, of course, the defending champions, and we will treat them with that respect, but we also know what we are capable of. We are looking forward to the encounter,” Prince said.

The Cobras coach is also not too perturbed by the opposition, especially with his young team performing so well at the moment.

Rookie batsmen Janneman Malan and David Bedingham have both struck centuries already, while new seamer Tladi Bokako has been impressive since joining the Cobras during the winter.

“It is early doors, only two games into the season, but saying that, we have had a nice start to the season.

“There are three matches to go before the break in the season, before the Mzansi gets under way, so we need to finish strongly.

“We have a target for these three matches and if we hit these targets, we will go into the break in a very good position,” Prince said.

Titans Squad

Shaun von Berg (captain), Andrea Agathagelou, Neil Brand, Junior Dala, Henry Davids, Theunis de Bruyn, Tony de Zorzi, Dean Elgar, Eldred Hawken, Heino Kuhn, Tshepo Moreki, Rivaldo Moonsamy, Alfred Mothoa, Jonathan Vandiar.

 

IOL Sport