Will Jennings be selected? March 16, 2005

SA players 'not in favour' of Jennings

Cricinfo staff



Ray Jennings: 'I would be very disappointed if this was the truth' © Getty Images

Ray Jennings, the current coach of the South African team, does not have the unanimous support of all the players as full-time coach, according to reports. Jennings has reapplied for the full-time role after gaining support from the players, including Graeme Smith, the captain. But not everyone in the side would be happy if Jennings' appointment as coach - a position he has held since October - was made permanent.

"I would be very disappointed if this was the truth," Jennings told the News24 website. "I know that no coach will have the support of all the players he works with. Yes, it is true that I challenge the players to lift their game. I would be lying if I said it had been plain sailing, because there have been words between me and some players, but nothing serious."

Jennings has maintained a good track record since his appointment. Under his guidance, South Africa have won three Tests, lost three and drawn three. In one-day internationals, Jennings enjoys a 83 percent success rate, having won the series against England 4-1 and Zimbabwe 3-0. Jennings' term ends after the Caribbean tour and the new coach will take up the post on June 1.

"I challenged Graeme Smith at times and I must have irritated him when things did not pan out as I wanted," continued Jennings. "Overall, however, we have a good relationship and I believe I have the support of the senior players such as Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis, Makhaya Ntini and Smith.

"This relationship with the players is like a marriage, which is not perfect overnight. You have to work at it. I think the players who do not want to continue with me are those who are unsure of their positions in SA cricket. If there are guys who play games behind my back, the next coach will also not be able to trust them."

Jennings was hopeful of becoming the full-time coach. "I will be much more comfortable if I should get the post as full-time coach," he said. "It will create stability. I feel I can continue with these players and I am prepared to listen to people."

Gerald Majola, the CEO of the United Cricket Board of South Africa, refused to comment on the allegations and mentioned that the shortlisted candidates included overseas players.

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