Proteas Women’s coach Hilton Moreeng heaps praise on troops after Australia tour

Proteas Women’s coach Hilton Moreeng holds a discussion on the field

Proteas Women’s coach Hilton Moreeng has praised his team’s character on their recently-concluded tour of Australia in which they notched up their first two wins over Australia in any format. Picture:

Published Feb 21, 2024


Proteas Women’s coach Hilton Moreeng has praised his team’s character on their recently-concluded tour of Australia.

Moreeng’s charges may have gone down heavily in the one-off Test and lost both the T20I and ODI series, but he feels his team were never out of the contest, especially in the white-ball matches.

Australia are the undisputed heavyweight champions of the cricket world across all formats and a tour Down Under is the most daunting prospect in the women’s game.

Prior to the trip, the Proteas had not beaten the Aussies in any format before. But they broke through that barrier on both the T20I and ODI fronts, setting up deciders in the final game of both series.

‘They’ve shown the grit’

Moreeng, who has overseen the Proteas for more than a decade, believes his team never gave up even when they were put under severe pressure by their hosts.

“There’s been a lot of good,” Moreeng said.

“You can only be proud of what they’ve shown. Playing Australia on their home soil is not always easy, but they’ve shown the grit and the fight throughout.

“This ranks as one of the best (tours) we’ve had because of the fight that we had to keep showing. Every time we had our backs against the wall, we had to keep fighting. Somebody had to pull through and be able to come back with the wins that we did.

“So, I think you can only build on that and take a lot of confidence out of this. Super proud and for us as a team, we can just go back and just make sure that we can keep improving on our shortfalls.”

The Australian tour precedes Moreeng’s final assignment with the Proteas Women’s team.

After 12 years with the national team, Moreeng’s term, which was supposed to end after last year’s run to the ICC T20 World Cup final at Newlands, will now conclude with the coming Sri Lanka inbound tour starting next month.

Last hurrah

The Proteas are set to face the Sri Lankans in three T20s and three ODIs in Benoni, Potchefstroom, East London and Moreeng’s home town of Kimberley.

It will be another opportunity for youngsters such as Delmi Tucker, Eliz-Mari Marx and Ayanda Hlubi to continue their progress shown on the Australian tour.

Tucker showed great resilience in the Waca Test with her maiden international half-century, while Marx and teenager Hlubi both impressed with the white ball during the ODI series.

The Proteas are currently in second place behind the Aussies on the ICC Women’s ODI Championship table. Sri Lanka are nine points behind in eighth place.