JOHANNESBURG – South Africa’s women’s coach Hilton Moreeng says he’s frustrated about where young starlet Laura Wolvaardt has been batting for her Women’s Big Bash side the Brisbane Heat, adding that it’s not in the interest of the player nor the Proteas.
Wolvaardt, 19, will complete her second stint in the lucrative league on Saturday when the Heat face the Sydney Sixers in the final in Sydney.
The Sixers team will include Proteas captain Dane van Niekerk and leading all-rounder Marizanne Kapp.
But it is the Heat’s use of Wolvaardt that has most concerned Moreeng and in particular the effect it might have on her when she plays for SA in a pair of crucial series next month against Sri Lanka.
Wolvaardt has batted at No 8 for most of the WBBL, having to play a role out of character for someone who bats at the top of the order in the SA side.
“It’s been frustrating because we don’t understand why she’s been used that way and of course we can’t dictate to the Heat how they should use her,” said Moreeng.
Wolvaardt has scored 58 runs in 13 innings for the Heat in the T20 tournament, averaging 9.66 with a high score of 14 not out.
“Anywhere in the top four would suit her, it’s just not in her interest as a player nor in our interest as a team to have her play where she has been,” added Moreeng.
Wolvaardt was left out of the SA T20 side for the three-match series against Sri Lanka starting at Newlands on February 1. She disappointed last year at the Women’s World T20, scoring just 16 in three innings in what Moreeng admits were difficult conditions.
Regarded as one of the women’s game’s leading young stars following the 50-over World Cup in England in 2017, Wolvaardt’s game appears to have stagnated at a point when the Proteas are looking to become a more aggressive batting unit.
Wolvaardt remains a crucial part of the team’s plans going forward but needs to score quicker, a part of her game that won’t be improved by batting at No 8.
Besides concerns over Wolvaardt, Moreeng would like to see Van Niekerk, Kapp, Lizelle Lee and Mignon du Preez bring some of the form they’ve displayed in the WBBL into the South African team for a series which will be crucial as far as the Proteas’ hopes for World Cup qualification are concerned.