Dinesha Devnarain, the new coach of South Africa Under-19 team, shared that she feels nervous and excited at the same time as she is ready to begin the next chapter in her life. The former player appointed in the dual role of first full-time appointment to the post and also as the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Women’s National Academy head coach last week.
Devnarain has signed a three-year deal which will supervise the progress to the inaugural ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup. The mega-event will take place in Bangladesh early next year.
“I’m excited, I’m nervous, I’m blessed…but it’s an honour and an absolute privilege to be given this job,” she said. “This job is going to form an important pipeline structure from provincial cricket to the Momentum Proteas and I look forward to it.”
Dinesha Devnarain is the first black female who led the team at the national level. She was born in Bakerton, Springs on Johannesburg’s East Rand. The former all-rounder had played 29 One Day Internationals and 22 T20Is in her eight-and-a-half years cricketing career.
However, she acquired her level three CSA coaching certificate at the end of her cricketing career. Notably, she is one of only eight women in the country to have the qualification and the first from KwaZulu-Natal. At the age of 10, she and her family shifted there. Before this national appointment, she coached KZN Coastal Under-19s. She even coached the Women’s Senior Provincial team while playing for them as well.
She will look after player development structures and also give more attention to identifying promising talents for the future. she said that she owes a lot to the Durban-based union for this.
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Dinesha Devnarain on her journey
Devnarain added: “It’s been quite a journey. But encouraged by my dad, I pursued and pushed through for a lot of things in my life. I went through a lot of loss and lot of hardships. After retirement, I obtained my level three coaching certificate and that’s a milestone that I’m really proud of.”
“Then 20 years of playing cricket for KZN Cricket and 13 years of having been employed by them as a coach. There’s lots of development happening there, I was in charge from Under-13, Under-16, Under-19 and then the women. I still had my hand in club cricket, in school cricket. It was nothing but a great blessing and a lot of my success has to go to the places that I have worked with and the KZN Cricket Union as well,” the former player shared again.
Meanwhile, Dinesha Devnarain is now preparing herself of doing something that every coach in the sports aspires to do – preparing a team for the World Cup.
“Moving onwards and upwards I’ve got a great opportunity at my doorstep. I get to work with our next best and I don’t think there’s a greater feeling than that. I’m really looking forward to the World Cup in 2021. I’m really hopeful that’s goes as planned in Bangladesh with our SA Under-19s. I want us to be a nation to be to be reckoned with there and to take the girls as far as I can,” she concluded.