New SA coach warns players of ~~butt kicks~~

Published: Monday, October 18, 2004, 23:53 [IST]
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Durban:Daryll Cullinan could come out of retirement and tour India next month with newly-appointed South African coach Ray Jennings asking the middle-order batsman to make himself available for the two-Test series.

Cullinan, who made his debut against India in 1992, retired from international cricket in 2002 following a contract dispute with the United Cricket Board of South Africa (UCBSA).

But Jennings, who took charge of the national team only this week in place of Eric Simmons, wants the 37-year-old player to be ready for the India series, beginning on November 20, and has even asked captain Graeme Smith to contact him, South African media reported on Sunday.

Jennings perhaps wants to have this 70-Test veteran in the side for the tough series as Cullinan has a fabulous record against India.

In the eight matches he has played so far against India, Cullinan has accumulated 688 runs at an impressive average of 52.92, which is much better than his career average of 44.21.

Besides bringing back Cullinan into the Test fold, Jennings also plans to introduce certain measures aimed at bringing a sense of discipline amongst the South African players.

"The UCBSA put its faith in me to jack up the team. In order to do so, five things must be re-introduced -- passion, respect, image, discipline and fun," a South African website quoted him as saying.

Talking tough, the coach also warned "butt kicks" for those players who do not listen to him and "continue to think that the game owes them something".

"It is of utmost importance that players develop respect for each other. The younger and older players must have respect for each other. And they must have respect for the public and the media," Jennings said.

"The team belongs to the South African public. When a player walks onto the field to play for South Africa, I expect him to deliver his best.

"I know there are players in the team who are in a comfort zone and might feel the game owes them something.

"We can't have one coach after the other. The players' attitude will have to change. I think there are a couple of players who need their butts kicked."

Jennings said he would meet Smith on Wednesday to discuss the plan of action for the future. He will also soon meet Omar Henry, convener of the selectors.

He said his methods "nearly scared to death" some of the players in the 'A' team, who recently beat Zimbabwe and New Zealand, but eventually they accepted these and everybody was happy.

Jennigs sent bowlers, who fired a fault in One-day cricket, five times around the field. For a wide, a player had to go round twice.

Two faults meant 10 times around, so the players had to be real careful not to earn the ire of the coach.

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