Ray Jennings led South Africa to the 2014 ICC Under-19 World Cup trophy © Getty Images
March 3, 2014
In a surprising move Cricket South Africa (CSA) have announced that they are in the process of restructuring the entire coaching set-up for the national team which has now left Under-19 coach Ray Jennings in serious danger of losing his job.
It may well be remembered that Jennings had led the South African U-19 side to World Cup glory recently and it will definitely be a cruel act if he does find himself out of a job reported sport24.
When asked about the restructuring process of South Africa’s cricket coaching system this is what CSA CEO Haroon Lorgat had to say: ” In spite of the success that Ray brings home, we are going to restructure the under-19 position,” said Lorgat at Newlands during the lunch break of the Cape Town Test between South Africa and Australia.”
“We’ve decided to split the role between the coach that will specifically focus on development from the under-13 black African programme … Then we are going to … appoint a second person to deal with the academy programmes. The focus will be on players coming from semi-pro, moving into the franchise level and all the way up to the Proteas,” added Lorgat.
On the other hand Jennings when queried about the dangers of him being axed as coach replied,” It does worry me a little bit. I haven’t moved around the world as a coach.”
“I’ve been very loyal to South Africa. Hopefully the South African structure can look at me and say I’m making a difference. But then again when people don’t want you, what do you do? You just have to pack up and move on,” said Jennings.
But Jennings also maintained that if he ever were to be sacked as coach of the South African Under-19 side he will definitely re-apply for the position.
“I am the coach, but there is a job opportunity for me to apply for in the next two months,” said Jennings.
“Then it will be up to Cricket South Africa to see if they want to hire me. If I apply for the job, hopefully I will get the job,” added Jennings.
When questioned about the current crop of South African under-19 players having any chance to play in the senior team Jennings replied,” My job is to capture the top 15 or 20 players to make sure we have the right guys to go into the world cup and win it. We really gave everybody at the tournament a hiding. It is a group of 15 players that can become Proteas pretty quickly.”
Jennings concluded by saying that none of the current bunch of South African youngsters were snapped up any mainstream South African franchise team.
The team’s captain Aiden Markram said that winning the title under Jennings was a tremendous achievement and it will definitely have aided in helping the team build a winners mentality.
“The final for each one of us was a big experience. To be able to compete at that level was a massive learning curve. Defeat didn’t really cross our minds and we were very positive the whole time,” said Markram.
“Winning the final and lifting the trophy was big,” concluded Markram.