Keith Jennings (cricketer)

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Keith Jennings
Personal information
Full name Keith Francis Jennings
Born (1953-10-05) 5 October 1953 (age 64)
Wellington, Somerset, England
Height 5 ft 11 in (1.80 m)
Batting Right-handed batsman
Bowling Right-arm medium-pace
Role Bowler
Domestic team information
Years Team
1975–1981 Somerset
First-class debut 18 June 1975 Somerset v Leicestershire
Last First-class 4 August 1981 Somerset v Yorkshire
List A debut 8 June 1975 Somerset v Derbyshire
Last List A 2 August 1981 Somerset v Yorkshire
Career statistics
Competition First-class List A
Matches 68 88
Runs scored 521 233
Batting average 10.63 9.70
100s/50s –/– –/1
Top score 49 51*
Balls bowled 7771 4052
Wickets 96 104
Bowling average 35.44 24.70
5 wickets in innings 1
10 wickets in match
Best bowling 5/18 4/11
Catches/stumpings 47/– 15/–
Source: CricketArchive, 23 May 2010

Keith Francis Jennings, born at Wellington, Somerset on 5 October 1953, played first-class and List A cricket for Somerset from 1975 to 1981.[1] He was a right-handed lower-order batsman and a right-arm medium pace bowler.

Jennings was a carpenter and joiner by trade who modelled his medium-paced bowling on that of Tom Cartwright and was one of Cartwright's successors as the defensive bowling heart of Somerset's successful one-day cricket side of the late 1970s. He made his first-class and List A debuts in 1975 and the following year was a regular member of Somerset's one-day team.[2] Initially, his batting showed promise, and against the West Indies in 1976 he made 49 of an 82-run eighth wicket partnership with his captain, Brian Close, whose own watchful innings of 88 earned him a recall to the England team at the age of 45.[3] Later that year, his 51 not out took Somerset from a parlous 116 for seven to a three-wicket victory with three balls to spare against Nottinghamshire at Nottingham.[4] But his batting declined markedly and in 1979, when he played in 19 of Somerset's first-class matches, he made only 19 runs all season.[5]

But Jennings' principal role was as a tidy, dependable bowler, mainly in one-day cricket. His figures scarcely show many highlights, but his record of being consistently selected alongside stars such as Ian Botham, Joel Garner and Viv Richards indicates a value not measured in wickets. In 1978, he took 40 first-class wickets, the most he achieved in a season, and was awarded his county cap.[6] The bowling included a return of five for 18 in 23.5 overs in the match against Sussex at Hove.[7] That was his only five-wicket haul in senior cricket. Yet with all the stars available he was picked for both the crucial matches at the end of the season when it seemed that Somerset might at last win a trophy: in the event, the county lost both the Gillette Cup final to Sussex and the final John Player League match to Essex and missed out on both trophies.[8][9]

The following season, 1979, Jennings was again a regular and he also played in most of Somerset's first-class matches, though he took only 20 first-class wickets in the season.[6] At the end of the season, Somerset arrived at exactly the same position as in the previous year – finalists in the Gillette Cup and with a chance of winning the Sunday 40-over competition. This time, both titles were won, though Jennings appeared in only the Gillette Cup final, where he bowled his 12 overs for just 29 runs, the most economical of the Somerset bowlers.[10]

In 1980, Somerset lost the services of Garner (and Richards) to the West Indies tour, and new players were introduced to cover the gaps. With a changing side, Jennings lost his regular place in mid-season and did not regain it. Apart from a couple of first-team appearances, he played in 1981 largely for the second eleven and with his contract due for renewal at the end of the season, he chose not to have it renewed, and left county cricket.[11]


  1. ^ "Keith Jennings". Retrieved 20 May 2010. 
  2. ^ "List A Batting and Fielding in Each Season by Keith Jennings". Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  3. ^ "Somerset v West Indians". 28 May 1976. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  4. ^ "Nottinghamshire v Somerset". 1 August 1976. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  5. ^ "First-class Batting and Fielding in Each Season by Keith Jennings". Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  6. ^ a b "First-class Bowling in Each Season by Keith Jennings". Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  7. ^ "Sussex v Somerset". 3 June 1978. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  8. ^ "Somerset v Sussex". 2 September 1978. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  9. ^ "Somerset v Essex". 3 September 1978. Retrieved 21 May 2010. 
  10. ^ "Northamptonshire v Somerset". 8 September 1979. Retrieved 23 May 2010. 
  11. ^ "Somerset in 1981". Wisden Cricketers' Almanack (1982 ed.). Wisden. p. 542.