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Ken Borland


SA women’s coach wants more TV exposure

Posted on April 15, 2014 by Ken

South Africa women’s cricket coach Hilton Moreeng said on Monday that he hoped his team would feature in more televised games following their success in reaching the semi-finals of the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh.

“It’s a young team that is developing and we have identified playing more games, especially on TV, as what they need to further bridge the gap between them and the likes of Australia and England.

“That would give them more exposure, and it’s a different kind of pressure when you’re playing on TV. In terms of skill and ability, we’re 80 percent there.

“Before the World Cup, we weren’t even being spoken of as challengers, but we showed we are headed in the right direction and we can only grow,” Moreeng said on Monday.

 

Women’s cricket has traditionally been bringing up the rear when it comes to sponsorship, but that all changed in 2012 when Momentum invested heavily in the women’s Proteas, allowing them to appoint Moreeng on a full-time basis and also give contracts to six leading players.

 

“Cricket South Africa and the cricket fraternity in general have been taking us much more seriously and, even though we still don’t have the resources of professional teams like Australia, England and New Zealand, we showed we can compete by the way we played in Bangladesh,” captain Mignon du Preez said.

 

“It was very special to play on TV. It gets people to come out and see how exciting and skilful our game is. We’ve come a long way, a lot has changed and we got tremendous support last week. We hope to see that sort of coverage more often.”

 

Du Preez said her team were still learning the art of international women’s cricket, but agreed that they were closing the gap.

 

“We’re now where Australia were two or three years ago, so we’re still playing catch-up cricket. But things are happening and women’s cricket is starting to become more serious in South Africa,” she said.

 

Moreeng said he was delighted with the progress the team has made this summer, with T20 and ODI series wins over Sri Lanka and Bangladesh and victory in the International Women’s Cricket Championship triangular series with Pakistan and Ireland in Qatar.

 

“It’s been a very good season for us. We’ve shown character and the players have improved. What they’ve achieved makes me very happy,” he said.

 

Moreeng said the future looked bright for the women’s national team, but they needed to play more internationals.

 

“There are only three players over 25 in the squad, so we have a core we can keep together and improve. I want to see us ranked in the top two, but we only play Australia, New Zealand and England once every few years,” the coach said.

 

The good news for the team, who are now third on the ICC T20 rankings, is that they will embark on a 13-day tour of England in September, on which they will play the ICC World T20 runners-up in three matches, all of which will be live on TV.

 http://citizen.co.za/156279/sa-womens-cricket-needs-exposure-coach/

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