Dolphins players speak out on coach

2009-03-31 00:00

WITH just one match to go in their largely disappointing season, the KZN Dolphins now also have the headache of an internal wrangle to deal with.

Reports in Durban newspapers spoke of several key players voicing their lack of trust in coach Yashin Ebrahim’s abilities.

Speaking at Kingsmead yesterday, Dolphins manager of playing affairs Jay Naidoo did not deny there are tensions in the dressing room, but expressed surprise that any player would have gone to the media before seeing management.

“The article didn’t quote anybody as such, but brought to light issues that we are currently dealing with,” Naidoo explained.

“We are due to meet players’ representatives, but we are also mindful of our final game this week in Kimberley against the Eagles.”

Naidoo said he and the influential Graham Ford are due to present a report on the season, as well as a blueprint for the way forward in order to restore the once mighty Dolphins’ standing.

Ford, who recently pulled out of the race for the England national coach position, looks increasingly likely to take on a more direct role at Kingsmead.

Already due back in England, Ford has been delayed by the UK’s vigorous new entry system and he is still working with the team.

For the last few seasons, the Kent director of cricket has taken a vital yet somewhat peripheral position in the Dolphins’ set-up, working largely with up-and-coming talents when he is back from his county commitments.

He also explained the side’s growing commitment to groom a set of youngsters for the future, with the National Academy-bound trio of David Miller, Kishav Maharaj and Khaya Zondo high on the priority list.

The Dolphins, for various reasons, have had a tumultuous season. Semi-final placings in the Pro20 competition and the MTN 45-over shoot-out do not mask their failings in the longer format.

The KZN side are now bottom of the SuperSport Series table, without a win and seemingly without the resources to bowl sides out twice.

“Generally we have batted well, aside from last week against the Warriors,” Naidoo said.

“But we seem to lack that killer instinct with the ball, and it is an area we need to improve on,” he added.

The troubles are ironic in a season where four of the franchise’s players (Hashim Amla, Imraan Khan, Johann Louw and Yusuf Abdullah) have worn national colours, and the multi-talented Daryn Smit is snapping at Mark Boucher’s heels.

Those individual success stories suggest that the Dolphins are not far from being competitive, but an unhappy team will never be succesful.

It looks likely that Ebrahim may be preparing for his final match in charge, though Naidoo was non-commital on the issue.

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