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July 13, 2000
Ever the optimist, Ray Jennings believes that a little bit of experience could help Easterns go a long way during the coming summer.
The Easterns coach confirmed the signing of the 37-year-old Mike Rindel this week to add to the acquisitions of Derek Crookes and Jennings' son Dylan from Gauteng.
Jennings the elder also confirmed that he has been speaking to Brad White, the Border and former Transvaal, opening bat.
Although Easterns reached the semi-finals of the Standard Bank Cup last season, a fairly remarkable achievement for one of South African cricket's less fashionable teams, they were rather less successful in the first-class game. Easterns, in fact, failed to win a single match in their Supersport Series pool or the subsequent Shield competition.
"We lacked experience," said Jennings, "and I hope that this is what Derek and Mike will give us. We've got some really good talent here in Benoni, but the guys need to play alongside people who've been around in the game for a while."
Jennings also said that Easterns were still considering an overseas professional to replace the West Indian Phil Simmons. At one point the name of former Indian captain Mohammad Azharuddin was linked with Easterns. This now seems an unlikely choice, however, after Hansie Cronje named Azharuddin as the man who introduced him to Indian bookmaker Mukesh Gupta.
Rindel, an attacking left-hand bat who also bowls left-arm dobbers and orthodox left-arm spin, and all-rounder Crookes will undoubtedly bolster the Easterns batting and it would be no surprise if Jennings and Easterns eventually settled for a bowler as their overseas player.
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