Ray Jennings to coach Bangalore IPL franchise
Bangalore Royal Challengers, which finished seventh of eight teams in the inaugural IPL season, have appointed Ray Jennings as their new coach. Jennings, the former South African coach, replaces Martin Crowe, who was the team's chief cricket officer.
Brijesh Patel, the Challengers' chief executive, told Cricinfo Jennings would also help the Karnataka state team on an "off and on" basis. Venkatesh Prasad, India's bowling coach, will remain on the franchise's coaching staff and assist Jennings, he said.
He said there would be no more changes in the Royal Challengers, which is led by Rahul Dravid.
The next IPL season is scheduled for April 2009 but Jennings will reach Bangalore this weekend for discussions and to spend some time with the Karnataka Ranji team, Patel - who is also the secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association (KSCA) - said.
Jennings's appointment was expected after he told a South African newspaper in June that he'd been approached by the franchise. Jennings, a former wicketkeeper, never got to play for South Africa as his career spanned the country's isolation era. He coached the national team from October 2004 to May 2005 and was replaced by Mickey Arthur as his controversial and aggressive coaching methods didn't go down well with the players. He coached the Under-19 team at the World Cup in Malaysia earlier this year.
The Bangalore franchise began restructuring its management team midway through the IPL season, when they slid to the bottom of the points table, by replacing Charu Sharma, a media professional, with Patel as their chief executive. Yet, the team, owned by Vijay Mallya, the Indian industrialist, continued to perform poorly and barely managed to avoid finishing last.
Hyderabad's Deccan Chargers, the franchise that finally finished at the bottom of the IPL points table, have already appointed Adam Gilchrist, the former Australia vice-captain, to replace VVS Laxman as their captain and appointed Darren Lehmann, the former Australia allrounder, as the new coach.