The younger players in the Cobras camp are unhappy with the way the Paul Adams situation has been handled.
The South African domestic season is fast approaching, but the Cape Cobras are still embroiled in the situation involving former Protea and head coach Adams.
A number of senior players have asked the CCMA to force the Western Cape Cricket Board to remove Adams, this after a report from mediator Paddy Upton recommended that he stands down.
A petition went around last week to call for Adams to leave his post, but SACricketmag.com understands that a number of the younger players opted to remain neutral on the matter, which the Board perceived as support towards Adams.
Talking exclusively to SACricketmag.com, Zubayr Hamza, in the company of Jason Smith and George Linde, all young players with new franchise contracts with the Cape Cobras this season, says they were pushed by the board to support Adams.
‘Tony Irish and Andrew Breetzke from SACA were at Newlands last week to resolve the matter, and we were all scheduled for individual meetings with the board members. But they split us into groups of twos and threes and pushed us into a corner to say that we were fine with Paul Adams.
‘The media think that we support Adams, but we hardly played for the Cobras last season, so we weren’t involved in what happened last season and we don’t want to take sides. So we abstained from having a point of view, so they pushed us towards being fine with Adams.
‘We told the players before we went to the meeting that we didn’t want to be involved and we told the board we don’t want to be involved either. They knew this, so I find it quite unfair on them to push us towards a side.’
Hamza went on to add that he and Smith have only played three Cobras matches between them under Adams, but understands the issues that has led a number of senior players, believed to be first-class skipper Omphile Ramela, Dane Vilas and Richard Levi, to ask the CCMA to get involved.
‘The problems stemmed from last season,’ says Hamza. ‘The reason why Adams is being blamed for last season is due to not putting an infastructure in place for the younger players. It was more about inheriting a team for him, without building future generations. He didn’t have that foundation for the younger players to come in and perform.’
Adams, who now has Ashwell Prince as his assistant coach and Alan Dawson as selection convener, has been in charge of the Cobras since 2012 and won five trophies in four seasons with them. He has the backing of the board, who offered him a two-year extension to his contract at the end of last season, which has yet to be signed.
The season would have already started by the time the CCMA can make a decision, and it’s the second time they’ve been involved in domestic cricket this year, after Lance Klusener appealed against his decision to be sacked as Dolphins coach, a case he lost.