World Sports Betting Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince has announced his squad for the 2020/2021 season.

Boland duo, batsman Isma-eel Gafieldien and fast bowler Ziyaad Abrahams, have been rewarded with franchise contracts after impressive seasons for Boland in both the CSA 3 Day Provincial and 1 Day Competitions. Gafieldien finished the tournament with 712 runs, at an average of 54.76, including 3 centuries and 2 half centuries, whilst Abrahams took 17 wickets at an average of 24.17 in 6 three day matches and 10 wickets at an average of 13.70 in four 1 Day matches.

There is also a first professional contract for SA U19 batsman Jonathan Bird who impressed during last season’s Momentum One Day Cup after being called-up to the side when Janneman Malan and Kyle Verreynne were away on Proteas duty, scoring 167 runs in 5 matches, including his maiden half century for the franchise.

There is a return to the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras for fast bowler Tshepo Moreki who impressed for the Momentum Multiply Titans last season, whilst there will be a huge Cape Town welcome for all-rounders Corbin Bosch (from Titans), Onke Nyaku (from Warriors) and Calvin Savage (from Dolphins). All three players will offer Prince enormous amount in all facets of the game.

Spinner Imraan Manack joins the franchise after having enjoyed a fruitful Momentum One Day Cup for the Titans last season, ending the tournament as their top wicket-taker with 13 wickets and he will be out to plug the gap left by Dane Piedt who will be furthering his cricket career in the USA.

Former Titans batsman left-hand batsman Tony de Zorzi, joins the squad looking to take the next step in his career and the 22-year-old is looking forward to being mentored by Prince: “I really wanted to work with Ashwell,” said De Zorzi in a recent interview with Cricket Fanatics Magazine.

“He’s played at the highest level and he knows what it takes to be successful at that level, especially as a batsman. He’s straightforward, and I like that. I’ve seen a lot of youngsters like Janneman Malan, Kyle Verreynne, Zubayr Hamza and Jason Smith excel under his coaching. The Cobras squad is a young one with a lot of exciting talent and I’d like to be part of that team culture,” he added.

In announcing his squad for next season, Prince expressed his confidence that the players he has recruited will fit right into his squad and deliver top performances as the franchise seeks to get back to winning ways after a disappointing 2019/2020 season.

“We’re absolutely delighted with our work during what is now becoming more and more like a football transfer window. We have been a very competitive squad in 4 day cricket over the last 3 years but no so much in white-ball cricket. I believe all the new signings will bolster our squad, especially in the shorter formats and give us a more competitive squad for all the formats.”

Prince also paid tribute a number of stalwarts who have left the franchise from a playing point of view.

“I’d also like to pay tribute to Western Province and Cape Cobras stalwarts Vernon Philander, Rory Kleinveldt, Dane Piedt and Dane Paterson for their commitment and outstanding performances for the region over the years.

“I also want to wish the following players, Lizaad Williams, Matthew Kleinveldt, Ferisco Adams, Mthiwekhaya Nabe, Tladi Bokako, Simon Khomari and Thando Ntini all the best with their journeys that they have chosen.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras CEO Nabeal Dien congratulated the new members of the squad: “We are very happy with the business we have done in this period, we have brought in players who we know have the capabilities, combined with the expertise of Ashwell and his entire management team, to take the next step up in their respective careers and represent the Proteas like a number of our players have done over the past few seasons.”

Western Cape Cricket Chairman Nic Kock wished the squad well for what is going to be a tough season ahead: “The Covid-19 experience has put life for many South Africans into perspective and we continue to encourage Cobras fans to stay at home and adhere to all the lockdown conditions laid out by our Government. We have made some exciting new signings that should add consistency to our positive brand of cricket in our drive to secure silverware.”

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Squad 2020/2021:

Ziyaad Abrahams, Jonathan Bird, Corbin Bosch, Nandre Burger, Tony de Zorzi, Isma-eel Gafieldien, Zubayr Hamza, George Linde, Pieter Malan, Janneman Malan, Imraan Manack, Aviwe Mgijima, Akhona Mnyyaka, Tshepo Moreki, Onke Nyaku, Calvin Savage, Jason Smith, Kyle Verreynne