Obituary: Keith Jennings

Somerset County Cricket Club is mourning the passing of former player, Keith Jennings.

Born in Wellington on October 5th 1953, Keith spent his entire professional cricket career with Somerset.

A right-arm medium pace bowler, he made his debut for the Second XI in 1971 before going on to make his First Class and List A bows in 1975.

During his time with the County he gained a reputation as a reliable, dependable and economical bowler.

Keith represented the Club on 68 occasions in First Class, taking 96 wickets at an average of 35.44 with a best of five for 18. He also featured in 88 List A matches for Somerset, taking 104 wickets at an average of 24.70 with a best of four for 11.

His best season with the ball came in 1978, the year that he was awarded his County Cap, when he claimed 40 First Class wickets at an average of 26.02 plus 24 List A wickets at 18.70.

Somerset had come so close to winning the Club’s first silverware in 1978, and Keith played his part in the County finally securing success just one year later.

He played 13 matches as Somerset clinched the John Player League, claiming 13 wickets at 26.92 with a best of three for 21.

He also played in all four of Somerset’s Gillette Cup matches that season, taking six wickets at an average 17.33 with a best of three for 31 against Derbyshire. Although he didn’t claim a wicket in the final against Northamptonshire at Lord’s he was the team’s most economical bowler as his 12 overs cost just 29 runs.

Whilst never really receiving the accolades of many of his teammates, Keith Jennings was an absolutely integral part of the early incarnation of the Somerset side that went on to dominate domestic one-day cricket.

He played his final game for Somerset in 1981.

He is remembered fondly by his former teammate, Vic Marks who today said: “Keith was one of our quieter graduates from the Lord’s Ground Staff, he was there at the same time as Ian Botham, I think. He joined the staff in 1975 and soon had an impact bowling his accurate medium pace inswingers, especially in one-day cricket.

“When we won our first trophy at Lord’s in the 1979, Keith conceded just 29 runs from his 12 overs. He had played in every match on the way to the final, bowling superbly in each of them. He was also a regular in the John Player League side, with those inswingers cleverly cramping the right-handed batsmen for room.

“Off the field he was modest to a fault with a lovely wry sense of humour that endeared him to all his teammates.”

The thoughts of everyone connected to Somerset County Cricket Club are with Keith’s family and friends at this difficult time.