Execute your game plans, coach Hilton Moreeng says to Proteas Women

Proteas Women coach Hilton Moreeng says players who do well in the domestic set-up and the SA Emerging team will be afforded opportunities. Photo: BackpagePix

Proteas Women coach Hilton Moreeng says players who do well in the domestic set-up and the SA Emerging team will be afforded opportunities. Photo: BackpagePix

Published Mar 22, 2024



The Proteas Women will look to build on the positives from their tour of Australia as they go up against Sri Lanka next week, in a series that will comprise three T20 matches and three one-day internationals.

Proteas coach Hilton Moreeng said the coming series against Sri Lanka is an opportunity to rectify past mistakes, especially by starting the tour on a good note.

Moreeng believes the T20 series will help prepare for the World Cup in Bangladesh in September, while the ODI fixtures will play a major role in automatic qualification for the 50-over World Cup in India next year.

South Africa hosted the ICC T20 Women’s World Cup last year, and lost to Australia by 19 runs in the Newlands final.

They have since had series at home against Bangladesh, New Zealand and Pakistan, and away to Australia, where they managed to beat the Aussies for the first time in ODI and T20 matches.

Australia are a dominant side, regardless of where they play, so to get one over them Down Under was a good achievement.

But the Proteas lost both the limited-overs series and their one-off Test match, so as much as there were positives from the tour, there has been growing concern with the recent results, especially in the T20 format.

The Proteas have played a total of 14 T20 matches since the World Cup, and have won just three and lost seven, with four no-results.

Their ODI record is something they can build on, as they have played 12 matches and won seven and lost five.

“We didn’t start the last couple of tours well. The upcoming tour is the last of our season, and will give us an opportunity to see how we can give ourselves a proper chance in the 50-over format,” Moreeng told Independent Newspapers.

“There will be six points at stake, so it will be a boost for us as a team if we can achieve that as it will give us a good opportunity to get automatic qualification for the (ODI) World Cup in India

“The T20 series will also give us a chance to give one or two youngsters an opportunity to play.

“Then we will start trimming the squad down as we start approaching the World Cup in September and October.”

The Proteas have been dominant against Sri Lanka, with series victories home and away, but the Asian side got one over SA at the 2023 T20 World Cup, winning by three runs.

So, the home team will be wary of the danger posed by the islanders.

“We’ve seen how Australia have played, especially at home ... On key moments, they are able to execute their game plans. This tour, we will look to start improving on that,” Moreeng said.

“We have moments where we play well, but let the opposition get the upper hand, and then we end up losing.”

The Proteas ladies will have the services of players who featured in the recently concluded Women’s Indian Premier League, where they rubbed shoulders with the best the game has to offer.

The experience gained will be valuable as the next two World Cups are on the Indian subcontinent.

“It’s important to have our players in such tournaments as they get to learn about other cultures, how they play, how they think, and they can bring that back to camp so that the whole team can learn, and we can evolve as a team to become better,” the coach added.

Moreeng spoke a lot about giving opportunities to players that are deserving, and emphasised that players who do well in the domestic set-up and the SA Emerging team will be afforded opportunities.

Wicketkeeper-batter Karabo Meso got her maiden call-up to the Proteas team, while fellow SA Emerging squad teammate and previously capped Proteas wicketkeeper Faye Tunnicliffe missed out on selection.

“Karabo has shown great maturity for her young age. She handles herself well, and she did well in the recent Under-19 World Cup, and has been part of our plans for the past year,” Moreeng said.

“The discussion around her is to bring her closer, and if the opportunity comes, we will give her a go and see how she fares.

“She has good qualities and is one of the best wicketkeeper-batters that we have in the country.

“Ideally you would like to have a batter that can keep in the modern day. There needs to be a balance between batting and keeping, because there will be situations where a keeper needs to score runs and must be capable of doing that.

“Faye has been doing very well domestically, and we have been looking at her.

“For this tour, she was not considered, but she must continue with the work she’s been doing and pile up more runs – and you never know.”