In a move that shouts “compromise”, the Cape Cobras on Friday announced Paul Adams won’t be the franchise’s head coach in the new year.
Instead, the former Proteas spinner has been redeployed as Western Cape Cricket’s (WCC) high performance manager.
It’s role that will see him “identifying and mentoring future Cobras players”.
But the reality is it’s an acknowledgement that his position at the Cobras has become untenable after at least 10 of the contracted group of players staged a revolt.
In fact, their grievance lodged with the Council for Commission, Mediation and Arbitration (CCMA) in October is technically still in force.
The Cobras have wanted Adams removed since the end of last season because of doubts over his competence as coach.
That led to WCC commissioning Paddy Upton, former Proteas team director, to independently investigate the player’s claims.
Upton’s report was overwhelmingly against Adams staying on as coach but the WCC board, rather bafflingly, rejected the outcomes because of “material deficiencies”.
In effect, they used the excuse that Upton didn’t consult every stakeholder and offered Adams a two-year contract extension without any apparent motivation.
The players, with the assistance of the South African Cricketers Association (Saca), went to the CCMA and after its deadline for a resolution was missed, allowed the players to apply for a certificate of outcome.
In other words, the right to strike.
Following a poor domestic T20 campaign, even the WCC board acknowledged they needed to take stock.
Ironically, Adams’ new position is a scenario Upton suggested in his initial report.
That will lead to questions whether this whole saga could’ve been avoided if the WCC board simply didn’t decide to play hardball.
“Given recent results and issues in the franchise team, Paul and ourselves have decided that now is the time for action and we feel he is ideally equipped for his (new) job,” said Nabeal Dien, the WCC chief executive.
Interestingly, Dien rejected claims that Adams’ success at the Cobras – he won five trophies – was down to outside factors such as an experienced group of players.
No indication has been given as to who will replace Adams, though his assistant Faiek Davids is a strong contender.