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Dinesha Devnarain takes up SA U19 and Academy coaching role

©KZN Cricket

Current coach of the Hollywoodbets KZN Coastal Women’s team Dinesha Devnarain has been appointed as the first full-time Women’s Under-19s and Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s National Academy head coach.

The former Momentum Proteas star has spent her entire career with KZN Cricket and has been at the helm as a player and a coach for the better part of two decades and despite feeling excited by the opportunity she said she was emotional about leaving the province that she has dedicated so much of her life to.

“I had to tell the girls myself and not let them find out via social media so I broke the news to them on April Fool’s Day and they thought that I was joking!” Devnarain said. “It was not an easy decision for me as KZN Cricket is more like a family to me than a job but I knew that I had to move on for my career.

“This is a massive stepping stone for me in my career and I am looking forward to hitting the ground running in June with the national academy.”

Having become such an important part of the set-up at KZN Cricket over the past two decades, Devnarain knew that it was time to move on despite the emotional attachment to the union.

“I don’t think that there was anything else for me to do here – I had done all I could for these girls,” she added candidly.

“I would like to think that I have left women’s cricket in KZN in a better place than when I started here and I hope that whoever takes over will continue to grow the legacy and ethos of women’s cricket here.”

With the current lockdown in place as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in South Africa, Devnarain has got some time to prepare for her first assignment which will be with the national academy in June.

“We were supposed to be playing an Under-19 tri-series with England and Australia and that would have been a really tough start, given that our national week in December was rained out so we didn’t have much to go on!

“With the COVID-19 outbreak that was cancelled and I can focus all my immediate attention on the national academy intake in a few months’ time.

“I want to do things differently and I feel that knowledge of the game is not where it should be.

“We want the girls to be as professional as possible when they go back to their provinces and be ambassadors of the game in their provinces when they leave the academy,” she mentioned.

According to the KZN Cricket Union CEO, Heinrich Strydom, one of the main goals of the KZN Cricket system is to produce world-class players, coaches and administrators.

“Dinesha’s role in improving women’s cricket in KZN has been unparalleled and we are sad to see her go,” he said. “However, to see her moving into a national coaching role is hugely satisfying and we wish her all the best in her dual role with Cricket South Africa.

“She has all the attributes needed to become one of South Africa and the world’s best female coaches, and we will be following her journey with much anticipation.

“I know that the KZN players are devastated to see her go which is a testament to the fantastic work that she did with the provincial women’s team.”

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