New chapter for Ray Jennings

2008-10-22 21:50
Ray Jennings (Gallo)
Christo Buchner

Johannesburg - A new chapter is about to be written in the career of Ray Jennings, former coach of the national cricket team.

Jennings has been appointed as the new coach for Bangalore's Royal Challengers in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

Three South Africans, Jacques Kallis, Mark Boucher and Dale Steyn, played for that team earlier this year.

Jennings takes over as coach from former New Zealand captain Martin Crowe.

The Challengers, who spend millions on acquiring players, finished second to last after a very disappointing series.

Jennings says he recently met with the Challengers' billionaire owner, Vijay Mallya, in the early hours of the morning (03:30).

“It was something special. He has unbelievable drive and I believe we are on the same wave length with what we are planning for the team," said Jennings.

One-year contract

“My involvement with the Royal Challengers next year will not affect my contract with Cricket South Africa (CSA).

“The IPL takes place in South Africa's off-season period. As soon as I return, the national academy reopens and I start there immediately, as soon as I return," he said.

The IPL will run from 10 April to 22 May next year.

Jennings says his contract is valid for one year, "because I would first like to see how I fit in and whether they are comfortable with me."

He believes Kallis can still play a big part in the IPL, even though he was all at sea in the series this year. “When Jacques is full of energy he is still one of the best in the world," said Jennings.

For a few other South Africans there are more questions than answers in relation to the IPL.

Albie Morkel is still at sixes and sevens about whether he will play for the Chennai Super Kings or for the Titans in the Champions League in December. His Super Kings coach, Kepler Wessels, has said from England that he doesn't know whether his contract will be renewed.

National captain Graeme Smith is still in a race against time with his elbow injury and is also not sure yet whether he will play for the Rajasthan Royals in the Champions League.


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