Cape Town - When Keaton Jennings scored an emphatic 112 on Test debut against India,
the former King Edward VII School (KES) pupil became the 18th South
African schooled cricketer to represent another nation in Test cricket.
Jennings was the 19th Englishman to score a century on Test debut and
the first away hundred since 1948, when Billy Griffith scored 140
against the West Indies in Trinidad.
Of England’s five most recent debutantes to score hundreds, four were
born in South Africa, with Jennings joining Jonathan Trott, Matt Prior
(a former KES Preparatory pupil) and Andrew Strauss, on a list that has
Alastair Cook squeezed in between.
Playing for his adopted country, Jennings’ ton was the first by a Test
debutant since Stephen Cook’s 115 against England at Centurion in
January this year.
Ironically, both Jennings and Cook were schooled at KES in Johannesburg,
both opening batsmen, and both the sons of former greats - Ray
Jennings and Jimmy Cook. To further deepen the connection, Jennings’
high school coach was none other than Ryan Cook - the brother of Stephen
“Keaton is a great example to many players - he is the best practiser
that I have ever seen at that age. His high standard of performance and
attention to detail were beyond his years in many ways. His intellect on
the game was second to none, he is a really smart cricketer and it
obviously helped growing up in a cricketing family from that regard,”
said Ryan Cook.
Having experienced the sheer elation of watching his brother reach his
century on debut, Cook once again had the opportunity to beam with pride
as his former schoolboy prodigy reached the iconic landmark.
“A reverse sweep to get to a hundred on Test debut is a sign of a guy
who is confident in those particular shots and in his own ability,”
explained Cook - the Head Coach at the Gary Kirsten Cricket Academy in
Jennings captained the KES First XI in 2010, in a side that featured
another future international in Quinton de Kock. In all, the
Johannesburg school has produced 17 South African Test cricketers with
the likes of Graeme Smith, Neil McKenzie, Ali Bacher and Buster Nupen
ranking among them.
“In the last couple of years KES has had a lot of success and they have
become synonymous with producing batsmen, especially top order batsmen.
So it is really nice to have another name up on the international
honours board,” added Cook.
KES could possibly boast even more Test cricketers were it not for
isolation which saw the likes of Jennings’ father, Ray, as well Kevin
McKenzie, Hugh Page and Lee Barnard miss out on official Test caps.
Keaton Jennings is the first Old Edwardian to play Test cricket for
another nation and places his old school on the list below that features
15 other schools.
South African schooled players to represent other nations in Test cricket:
Nick Compton – England (Hilton & DHS)
Basil D’Oliveira – England (Zonneblom Practising School)
Grant Elliott – New Zealand (St Stithians)
Tony Greig – England (Queen’s College)
Ian Greig – England (Queen’s College)
Trevor Gripper – Zimbabwe (Kingswood College)
Keaton Jennings – England (King Edward VII School)
Neil Johnson – Zimbabwe (Howick High & Kingswood College)
Allan Lamb – England (Wynberg Boys’ High)
Kevin Pietersen – England (Maritzburg College)
Andy Pycroft – Zimbabwe (Bishops)
Neal Radford – England (Athlone Boys’ High School)
Chris Smith – England (Northwood School)
Robin Smith – England (Northwood School)
Jonathan Trott – England (Rondebosch Boys’ High)
Kruger van Wyk – New Zealand (Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool)
Neil Wagner – New Zealand (Afrikaanse Hoër Seunskool)
Peter Walker – England (Highlands North High)