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Prince names Cobras squad for season opener

Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras coach Ashwell Prince says his players are raring to go ahead of their 2020/21 season opener against the Momentum Multiply Titans in the 4-Day Domestic Series at Six Gun Grill Newlands from Monday.

There are potential Cobras debuts for the likes of Ziyaad Abrahams, Corbin Bosch, Tony de Zorzi, Onke Nyaku, Calvin Savage and WP spinner David Schierhout, whilst Zubayr Hamza will be out to stamp his authority on the side in his first full campaign as Captain of the franchise.

The new South African cricket term is finally being launched after an extended break that was forced by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It means the November start will be one of the latest ever beginnings of a campaign and Prince says they cannot wait to get the season started.

“We’re all excited about getting the season underway,” he said. “It’s been a difficult time on the sidelines, through the lockdown, so it’s been a pretty long pre-season. I don’t think the players would have had one that long before.

“So we’re all very excited about the season coming up. Everyone is fit and raring to go. We have unfortunately picked up one big injury, which is a blow after Jason Smith picked up an ankle injury, but we still have 17 players and we’ll be putting out a competitive team.”

The format of the season has been changed this time around, with the six teams now divided into two groups – the third team alongside the Cobras and Titans in Pool A is the Warriors – with the fixtures cut from 10 to seven. The Pool winners will also have an additional game via a five-day final.

“At the end of the day, everybody plays the same amount of games so it’s seven games and a final if you get there,” Prince said. “From that perspective, I think everyone is looking to start well and top their group come the end of the season because you want to get into the final.”

Another change forced by the coronavirus is that only the six premier venues will be used in the country for the season, meaning all Cobras games will strictly be hosted by Six Gun Grill Newlands.

“It does help to play at Newlands,” Prince added. “We haven’t played a lot of four-day games here in the last few years, so it will be nice for the guys to be based here.

“Like I said, first-class cricket by the Cobras in the last few years has taken place more in Paarl and Oudtshoorn.

“At Newlands you know what you’re kind of going to get in terms of the surface. You want to have a good contest between bat and ball and I think that’s what you’ll get here, based on history.”

Six Gun Grill Cape Cobras Squad: Zubayr Hamza (Captain), Ziyaad Abrahams, Corbin Bosch, Nandre Burger, Tony de Zorzi, George Linde, Janneman Malan, Pieter Malan, Aviwe Mgijima, Tshepo Moreki, Onke Nyaku, Calvin Savage, David Schierhout, Kyle Verreynne (w/k)