Ex-Titans star appointed KZN Inland Union head coach

2012-08-03 00:00

THE KwaZulu-Natal Inland Cricket Union (KZNICU) have served notice of things to come by appointing former Eastern Province and Northern Titans wicketkeeper/batsman Gareth Morgan (41) as head coach.

A product of Grey High in Port Elizabeth — which also produced Graeme and Peter Pollock, Gavin Cowley, Rupert Hanley and Dave Callaghan — Morgan represented Eastern Province at primary school level and captained the EP Nuffield side before being selected as vice-captain of the South African Schools side in 1989.

He rapidly rose through the junior ranks while at the University of Port Elizabeth before making his senior debut in 1993 against the England touring team.

He accumulated close to 100 first- class caps in both the three-day and one-day formats that included international matches against Australia, England, India, New Zealand and Sri Lanka before hanging up his gloves in 2002.

But Morgan had already set his sights on a coaching career and steadily worked his way through the United Cricket Board of South Africa-sanctioned coaching qualifications during his playing days.

With the highest coaching diploma — Level 4 — under his belt, Morgan’s transition from player to player-coach and coach was so seamless that included a stint at the Bloemendal Club in the Netherlands.

His impressive coaching credentials included tenures as head coach at the University of Pretoria, Highveld Strikers and assistant coach of the South African U19 team that were runners-up to India in the 2008 junior World Cup.

He enthusiastically embraced the Twenty20 format and was assistant coach of the Royal Bangalore Challengers that were runners-up to the all-conquering Deccan Chargers in 2009.

His appointment is considered a scoop by KZNICU president Yunus Bhamjee, who is excited at the prospects of the young inland team under Morgan’s guidance.

“Grant comes not only with impeccable credentials, but also an impressive track record that underlines his ability to bring out the best in players,” he said.

Bhamjee said Morgan’s appointment was in line with the KZNICU’s ambition to become a top cricketing entity with an emphasis on identifying and developing promising players.

“In this respect, we work closely with the Dolphins and its structures in our bid to develop cricket in KwaZulu-Natal,” Bhamjee said.

Morgan’s appointment was welcomed by Dolphins head coach Lance Klusener.

“This is exactly the type of coach that the Dolphins need in Maritzburg, and we will continue to work very closely with Grant and the rest of the KZN Inland team for mutual benefit,” Klusener said.

“Part of our discussions with Grant will be that he dedicates some time to identify and nurture the schoolboy talent in the greater Midlands area. Dolphins cricket has been at its best when we have had significant representation from Pietermaritzburg and surrounds,” added Klusener.

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