Ashwell Prince ticked all the right boxes as a cricketer. He was defiance and dogged determination personified and averaged 41.64 with 11 centuries in 66 tests. He could seamlessly move from middle-order batsman to opener and scored 150 in that position.

He was also a South African captain and in his final season with Lancashire shared in a partnership of 500 with Alviro Petersen, so when called upon to coach the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras, he possessed almost all the credentials.

But from a coaching perspective, he has now achieved the only ingredient missing from his CV, his level-three certificate, and finished close to the top of his class.

“There are a lot of people (coaches) without the certificate. But I have to respect the system and as a young coach, I have had a lot to learn,” Prince said.

“Graduating with the level three certificate means you have done a lot of learning. We are all learning still, no matter how much you have played or watched the game,” he said.

Prince is in his second full season as coach of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras. They are at the summit of the Four-Day Series, but Prince was philosophical about the 33 point cushion above the bizhub Highveld Lions. (The World Sports Betting Cape Cobras have 99.86 points and the Lions have 66.98).

“We have won four in a row, but it is possible we can lose the next three. Credit must go to the backroom staff and the team who have shown character.

“Some things go unnoticed. It was a tough day yesterday. The boys bowled well with little reward. During the winter Sherman (Baatjes, the strength and conditioning coach) made the guys run around the boundary ropes a lot of times and put in the hard work. I’d like to give Sherman a lot of credit.

“For Pato to come back and take those three wickets close to the end of the day when they have been really tired, that is a lot of credit to the trainer to make the guys prepared for a tough season and for tough days like that. Sometimes those type of things (the work done by the strength and conditioning coach) go unnoticed.

“You have to be fit to concentrate the way Pieter Malan did batting for hours and hours and that does not just happen. That is people like Sherman working so that type of quality can go out and do their work,” Prince said. A lot of praise must go to the backroom staff.

“In the first three games we were bowling our opponents out cheaply and got in front, but in this game against the Hollywoodbets Dolphins, we were 45 for four and had to show a lot of character to claim a first-innings lead,” Prince said.

“I am so proud of Ashwell and for the commitment, he has demonstrated by graduating with a level three certificate and as one of the top achievers. You never stop learning and Ashwell knows and appreciates that,” said Nabeal Dien, chief executive officer of the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras.