KwaZulu-Natal and South African Women’s representative and fast emerging coaching talent Dinesha Devnarain made history on Wednesday as she became only the eighth woman in South African cricket, and first in KZN, to be awarded her level three coaching certificate.
Going shoulder to shoulder with the likes of Proteas bowling coach Charl Langeveldt, KwaZulu-Natal Inland provincial coach Shane Burger and the vastly experienced former domestic performer Cliffe Deacon, Devnarain not only completed the course successfully but left a lasting impression on all in attendance as well.
“The 2014 level three coaching course started in September 2014 and concluded with a three day workshop with our 14 candidates at the Centre of Excellence at the University of Pretoria Sports Complex,” explained Cricket South Africa Coaching Manager, Anton Ferreira.
“Dinesha is an excellent coach and an unbelievable candidate – not only when it came to completing the course but her wonderful style of coaching and her way with players as well – and we are very proud of her achievement!
“In the last two years Claire Terblanche has been our top candidate of the course overall and Dinesha was definitely in the top three of this intake!” he added.
Devnarain, who had previously retired from the international game to pursue her coaching endeavours, made a welcome return to the national mix earlier this season when she was included in a 14-woman South Africa Emerging squad for the tour of Zimbabwe.
While having already enjoyed five successful years with the national team and now continues to thrive as a player, Devnarain has her sights firmly set on one day becoming coach of the national women’s setup.
“Dinesha has been one of KZNCU’s finest women’s cricket success stories ever and for her to become the first ever woman from our province to achieve her coaching level three just goes to show how dedicated she is towards achieving her goals,” said KwaZulu-Natal Cricket Union Manager of Amateur Cricket, Jay Naidoo.
“We have no doubt that this is just another step in her reaching great heights and having a tremendous impact of the women’s game, not only in our province but nationally as well!” he added.
Devnarain’s achievement adds to the emergence of top female coaches climbing South Africa’s ranks, a trend the national federation is pleased by.
“Up until a year ago most of our provincial women’s teams were coached by men simply because there just weren’t many female coaches around,” explained Ferreira.
“In the last eleven level three coaching courses we have seen eight ladies qualify though, which is a big, big improvement and now we are starting to see more and more women coming through the provincial ranks,” he added.
Devnarain’s impact since taking over as player/coach of the KZN Women’s team has been significant, again affirmed over the weekend by the side’s 228 run win over Mpumalanga in the latest round of the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s Provincial League.
Winning the toss and electing to bat first in Middleburg, Devnarain’s charges – led by Momentum Proteas women’s players, Chloe Tryon and Nadine Moodley who scored 168 and 107 runs respectively – posted a mammoth 365 runs in their 50 overs before Asheta Mahabeer (3/10), Lungi Kwela (2/7) and Jade de Figueredo (2/8) took seven wickets between them to bundle Mpumalanga out for 137 and claim victory with 18 overs to spare.