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World Sports Betting Cape Cobras CEO Nabeal Dien has expressed pride in franchise coach Ashwell Prince, after the former Proteas batsman was nominated as one of the three Franchise Coaches of the Year at the Cricket South Africa Awards function that was held on Saturday.

Prince was nominated for the prestigious award alongside eventual winner, bizhub Highveld Lions coach Enoch Nkwe, and Warriors coach Rivash Gobind.

“As a franchise, we are very proud of Ashwell’s achievements and very proud to call him our own. To us it has a significant meaning, it means we have the right person for what we want to achieve here in the Western Cape.”

“Ashwell is a champion in producing young players in this country. Having experienced how tough it is at the top, he can identify what is required to get there. With the knowledge that he has already imparted, and will continue to impart on the younger members of our squad, they will have all the tools to represent South Africa at the highest level.”

“In the future there is no doubt that Ashwell should lead the national side.”

Prince and his World Sports Betting Cape Cobras squad are currently working hard in pre-season ahead of the 2019 / 2020 season.

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Chief Executive Nabeal Dien, has addressed a recent media report written by journalist David Cox for Al Jazeera, regarding racial divisions within the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras last season.

Dien, including a host of senior players, are aghast by the accusations and refute any such claims.

Western Cape Cricket Chairman Advocate Nick Kock and Vice Chairman Angelo Carolissen have also added their disapproval to these false reports.

“Unity is PRIMARY at the Cobras. We have worked hard on this and not a single player in our squad will disagree. False accusations like this are scathing to our team and organisation as a whole,” Dien said.

“We call on the journalist and publication in question to retract this article and issue a formal apology,” he added.

“We have spent many hours ensuring our environment is inclusive and a healthy space for players and management. After a pre-season venture last season the team returned and adopted the slogan #StrengthInDiversity. It is used in all our social media communication which reflects the unity of our squad.”

World Sports Betting Cape Cobras captain Dane Piedt also expressed his disappointment at the accusations levelled at the Western Cape franchise.

“It is extremely disappointing. Being the captain of the team, it affects me even more, and on my leadership and the unifying culture we have created at the Cobras. It is really disappointing that someone from outside that has no idea of how our team functions and the camaraderie within the squad had made such comments,” Piedt said.

Senior Black African batsman, and a former World Sports Betting Cape Cobras Player of the Year, Aviwe Mgijima also addressed the matter.

“I am saddened and upset with the accusations against our squad,” Mgijima said.

“The statements in that article are indeed not true. It saddens me that a member of another team would spread rumours and lies about what transpired in our space.

“I for one do not even remember there being a division amongst us. I really hope we get to the bottom of this and our squad is cleared.”

Opening batsman Pieter Malan was equally taken aback with the claims of a racial fraction within the World Sports Betting Cape Cobras dressing room.

“We have the most diverse and open-minded squad in the country and these allegations go against everything we believe in at the Cobras. It is insulting and defamatory to say the least. Nothing like this happened in our team environment and he should name his source if he wants to take this story any further,” Malan said.