Under-19 cricket-coaching position split, one coach to focus on black African development

2014-03-03 15:21

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The Under-19 coaching role, held by Ray Jennings, will be reviewed in the aftermath of the South African Under-19s’ win at the World Cup over the weekend, said Cricket SA chief executive Haroon Lorgat.

Lorgat said the two positions will be development and high-performance based. The split will enable the tracking of the player base – and player movements from semipro through to national level and back again.

Jennings has been the Under-19 coach since 2006.

“We have decided to split the role of the Under-19 coach in two – one coach who will focus on the Under-13 to Under-19 black African development and we will appoint another person who will deal with the academy programme with the focus on the semiprofessional-professional stream and the Under-19s,” Lorgat said.

Jennings said he knew he would have to reapply for his job but it did not concern him. He emphasised the point that he did not take the most talented team to the tournament, but he had a group of 15 committed individual who played well as a team.

“I have always said that talent sometimes is overrated because if you don’t have the right character, it is difficult to implement the talent. The talent going into this tournament was good but there was no exception to the rule. We gave everybody a hiding, which showed the talent of the team,” Jennings said.

Winning captain and man of the tournament, Aiden Markram from Pretoria Boy’s High School, said lifting the trophy was a massive learning curve and tried not to be overwhelmed by the occasion of playing in a final.

The right-handed Markram top-scored with 66 as the Baby Proteas beat Pakistan by six wickets on Saturday.

“The final was a big experience and to compete at that level was a massive learning curve for us. Before the game, we were told to take it all in. Defeat did not come across my mind at any stage and it remained that way throughout the whole tour. We did well in the regard of not bringing any negative thoughts into the camp,” Markram said.

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