South Africa news April 23, 2014

CSA turns down Jennings application


Ray Jennings, the coach who took South Africa's Under-19 squad to victory in the World Cup in the UAE last month, will be out of a job from next week. Jennings applied for a position within CSA's development structures but was overlooked in favour of Lawrence Mahatlane, the former assistant coach of the Lions franchise. Shukri Conrad, who was in charge of both the Cobras and Lions, has been appointed national academy head coach.

"I am bitterly disappointed," Jennings told ESPNcricinfo. "But if the system doesn't want you, then it doesn't want you. It's upsetting that it was left so late to let me know." Interviews were conducted over the last three weeks but Jennings was only informed of the decision today.

With just a week left until he will be out of contract Jennings admitted he is concerned about his future. "I'll have to sit down and think properly about it," he said while also mooting the possibility that he need to look beyond South Africa's borders for employment. "But all these things take time."

Jennings had a hint that his services would no longer be required when he returned triuphant from the U-19 World Cup in March. Then, it was announced the role of U-19 coach would cease to exist its current form when Jennings' contract expired at the end of April and would be split into two positions.

CSA have since announced the position of U-19 head coach still exists, which was the job Jennings applied for. Mahatlane has been assigned to the role. Mahatlane obtained a Level Four coaching certificate in 2008 and was at the helm when the Gauteng Strikers, the provincial side who play at the tier below franchise level, won the three-day competition in the 2006-07 season and the one-day competition in 2007-08. He stopped coaching in 2011 but has worked as a cricket and rugby radio commentator for the public broadcaster, the SABC.

The second post focuses on the national academy which will also involve running the academy from May to September standardising all the provincial academies. Conrad has been given this job. Conrad won the one-day competition with the Gauteng team in the 2003-04 season before the franchise system was introduced. He was then in charge of the Cobras for five years in which time he won the all three trophies on offer in separate seasons: the one-day cup (2006-07), the 20-over tournament (2008-09) and the first-class competition (2009-10). In 2011 he worked with the Ugandan national side and has since appeared on television commentary.

The pair will look to fill the continuity gap left by Jennings, who has been in charge of South Africa's U-19 side since 2006. Jennings has taken the side to five World Cups and he remembered that in that time, the various teams he has led have only lost four matches. He has also coached at provincial level, having been in charge of domestic teams Easterns and Gauteng and at international level with the South African A side and South Africa's national side between 2004 and 2006.

This is the second job Jennings has lost this year. In January, he was axed from the Royal Challengers Bangalore when they unveiled Daniel Vettori was their new head coach.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Dummy4 on April 28, 2014, 23:39 GMT

    Ray leads the U-19 team to win the World Cup and then CSA don't renew his contract but he is now out of a job. CSA you should be ashamed of how you have treated Ray.

  • Harjinder on April 25, 2014, 23:10 GMT

    Ray is the best coach in cricket ' coaching ,he helped to win the maiden title (u-19) World Cup . I don't think he should have applied again because what you can get after the top gear ...Yes ,RAY Jennings can be called again for the international side to remove Domingo . But CSA never take the bold decisions ,that's why their mission of big" title " is /has been waiting since 1992 .......good luck SA as well RAY.....!

  • Reynold on April 25, 2014, 9:09 GMT

    Ray is a great couch. He took an Easterns team and made them champions. Easterns for those that does not know is one of the smallest cricket provinces in the country and not even a franchise team on there own. He brought back the first crick world cup this country has ever seen and now probably the last as well. SA sports are heading down ,especially cricket ,the game I so love. Quotas are killing us.The Quotas on junior\school levels are insane!!!I really am on the brink of taking my Protea shirts and Sprinagbok shirts and burning them on Camera for the whole world to see. Just undesided on wheteher I should get me NZ or AUS supporters jerseys.

  • ZCF on April 25, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    Excellent appointment of Lawrence Mahatlane. We now look forward to Godfrey Toyana - his former superior at the Lions - to coach the Proteas next after Domingo. Slowly but surely things are heading in the right direction at CSA.

  • Rob on April 25, 2014, 2:39 GMT

    Sadly it's all about politics and certainly not who's the best coach for the job. What a waste CSA.

  • Android on April 24, 2014, 18:36 GMT

    Brilliant, highly determined and successful coach and player. what fools SA administrators are getting rid of such a great man. Particularly when we have such an inexperienced wimp as our national coach. Jenkins is clearly the best man to coach the SA national team. Affirmative action is destroying us.

  • Lahiru on April 24, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    Coach team like Sri Lanka.. They are searching for world class coach.. u will get the respect from country people & cricketers.

  • Dick on April 24, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    A great coach and man who gave his everything to the sport and expected the same from his charges .. Win a world cup and get retrenched .. Ray deserved better but as others have said .. could be a blessing in disguise .. now free to go elsewhere .. word of warning Ray - do NOT come to Zimbabwe unless you want to do voluntary work!

  • Garreth on April 24, 2014, 8:12 GMT

    I used to be the most optimistic South African cricket fan but seeing how our cricketers and coaches get treated year after year has left me more than just a little jaded. Ray is one of the best coaches in the world particularly when it comes to man management. He brings the best out of individuals. He brought it out of Boucher and Ntini is his short tenure as SA coach. Lit a fire under Ntini during a game against WI that got Ntini so fired up that he went on to get 13 wickets in that game. When Boucher was dropped back in 2004, Jennings got him back on his feet. Boucher credits Jennings with his turn around. He started the streak of undeafted ODI games that went over 20 games. Jennings was only in the team for a few months yet had that impact. I can't stand injustice and yet that is the reality us South Africans must face every day in all aspects of life. SA cricket is also in real danger of disintegrating due to severe mismanagement. Shame on you CSA thought I doubt you care.

  • Eric on April 24, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Typical!! I believe SA coaches should start worrying when they win world cups, as the trend in SA is to fire them immediately!!

  • No featured comments at the moment.