CSA in discussion regarding Moreeng’s future

AFTER over a decade in the helm of Proteas Women, coach Hilton Moreeng may have just done his time. | www.photosport.nz

AFTER over a decade in the helm of Proteas Women, coach Hilton Moreeng may have just done his time. | www.photosport.nz

Published Apr 20, 2024


ONE OF the longest-serving national coaches in South Africa, Hilton Moreeng, might have served in his last assignment with Proteas women earlier this week.

Moreeng came into the national set-up in December 2012 when he replaced Yashin Ebrahim-Hassen as head coach of the then Mignon du Preez-led side.

A decade later, Moreeng has taken the team to heights that many could not have envisioned for the South African women’s team.

The 46-year-old took the team from being a side that only makes up the numbers in ICC events, to one that regularly contests for titles against the best in the world in the form of Australia, England and India Women’s teams.

When Moreeng took over, his first assignment was the 2013 World Cup in India where the side failed to even secure fifth place. Four years later in the United Kingdom, Moreeng took the side to the semi-final of the World Cup where they lost to England.

In 2022, the coach helped the side to yet another semi-final, where they fell short once again. By that time, the Kimberly-born Moreeng had successfully changed the narrative around the women’s team by building a strong core group of players which included Dane van Niekerk, Marizanne Kapp, Lizelle Lee and Shabnim Ismail to name a few.

It was this group in particular that breathed life into the women’s game with their passion on the field and inspiring stories off the field.

Moreeng’s greatest achievement at the helm undoubtedly came in 2023 during the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup where Proteas women became the first senior SA team to reach the final of the World Cup.

However, the coach has faced criticism since achieving that milestone at Newlands Stadium last year where Australia women held their nerve and walked away champions of the world once again.

Since that World Cup final, Proteas women have not won a T20 series, home or away. This suggests that the team has regressed, a feat that has seen Moreeng cop quite a lot of flack over the past 12 to 14 months.

One of his major criticisms has been how the coach has stuck with senior players who have simply not done enough to warrant a spot in the national side. Top-order batter and former captain Sune Luus, has averaged 14 in 11 innings for South Africa but somehow kept her spot in the side regardless of her returns.

With the international summer having come to a close earlier this week with the conclusion of the Sri Lanka Women series, Moreeng and his staff might just have served in their last series.

The coaching staff, including Moreeng, were granted a contract extension before the start of the 2023/24 season and that contract was scheduled to run until 30 April. The Independent Newspapers understand that Cricket South Africa and Moreeng are in talks to discuss the future seeing that the T20 World Cup is four months away.

Will the coach keep his job at least for the T20 World Cup in Bangladesh or will Cricket SA decide it is time to move on?