us, Montana coach Bob Stitt said of St. Franc
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It should be no surprise when Keaton Jennings says he feels very comfortable and very English as he prepares to make his Test debut on Thursday.And if the words at the moment rather underline the somewhat transient nature of modern nationality, it is not an issue with which Jennings can be expected to wrestle. He is 24. And he is reaping the rewards for a decision made when he was a teenager. He has a home in Chester-le-Street. He talks fondly of his local pub. He just wants to play cricket.It is a well-trodden path that Jennings has taken into the England team. Like Kevin Pietersen, Jonathan Trott, Nick Compton and many, many more, he has utilised a British passport (Jennings mother was born in Sunderland), looked at the unstable nature of South African cricket and the depth of the professional game in England, and come to an understandable conclusion. None of them were poached or coerced; they made perfectly understandable choices that have become common in a mobile, multicultural world.I sat down with my Dad and I felt it would be my best opportunity to live my dream in the UK, he explains. And Im very glad as I sit here now to have made that hard decision. The opportunity, the professionalism - I cant put my exact finger on it - but there was a welcome feeling, and feeling loved, and being pushed as well.That is not to say there are not concerns. For a start, there is an obvious dilution of talent available to the South Africa selectors. By the time South Africa tour England in the summer of 2017, it is anticipated that a new raft of Kolpak registrations will have weakened them further.It also raises questions about the English development system. Why is it, for all the money pumped into grassroots cricket, England remain so disproportionately reliant upon players born and largely developed overseas? Jennings will be - after Trott, Compton and Sam Robson - Cooks fourth opening partner born in South Africa or Australia since the retirement of Andrew Strauss, who was also born in South Africa. The differing climates may be one factor, but it is hard to ignore the suspicion that cricket - absent from most schools and many TV screens - has simply reduced in relevance across much of England and Wales. Take private schools out of the equation, and the situation looks grim.The ECB, to be fair, recognise this. It is the motivation behind their Cricket Unleashed initiative and their plans for a new-look T20. Their vehicle of change may be questionable, but many of their intentions are good.Jennings cannot be expected to worry about such matters. As if standing in the shoes of Haseeb Hameed is not hard enough - Jennings must feel like an Elvis impersonator going on stage after Elvis - he now has to deal with a fine India attack.Had he stayed in South Africa, however, Jennings might well be a seasoned international cricketer already. He captained the U19 team (in 2011, he opened the batting with Quinton de Kock in an U19 ODI against England) and, of course, he was steeped in cricket in the family home.He talks of his father often (though he refers to him as coach) and with a softness that belies the hard-man reputation Ray Jennings may have cultivated. And while there were clearly times the younger Jennings was taught some pretty tough lessons, there is little doubt it was wrapped up in the benevolence of a loving father.When I was nine or 10 we went to the nets, Keaton remembers. But it was one of the days when I decided not to listen. He threw me the first ball, I got out. Second ball, I got out. He said you get out one more time were going home. He threw me another ball, I got out. He put his bag down and walked off. From that day forward, I called him Coach. I cant remember the last time I called him dad.Having grown up in a cricket family you talk a lot about cricket. It is very intense from a training and professionalism point of view, but it was also a very loving environment. My mum softens my Dad and has taken the edge off him at home. From the persona of someone who is a hard and concentred man, in the family house he is very loving and gentle.Weve got a very good relationship. Im probably closer to him than I am to anybody else in the world. Hes my father, a role model and a coach. Im blessed to have a person in my life that I trust with my life and that will help me guide my career.Most of the advice passed on from father to son in recent days - and Ray has copious experience as an IPL coach - has been practical in nature. Drink lots of water and make sure its closed bottles, was one of his bigger tips, Keaton says.But there has been a deeper theme to his advice. Despite the cricket drills and apparently intense concentration upon success in the game, Keaton was also taught to embrace other aspects of life and understand that there is much more to it than sport. So he is currently studying for a degree in financial accounting and puts his much-improved performance in 2016 (he scored seven first-class centuries in the season; he had scored five in total before that) down to having found happiness outside the game.My dad made me do one thing in my life and that was to study, he explains. I take my hat off to him. Im really thankful he pushed me in that direction.And he has told me to enjoy the process and the culture of India. Cheap NBA Jerseys China . Nigeria beat surprise package Ethiopia 2-0 in the second leg of their playoff for a comfortable 4-1 aggregate victory. 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MISSOULA, Mont. -- After a slow start, Montana quarterback Brady Gustafson threw for three touchdowns, ran for two more and helped Montana beat Saint Francis 41-31 on Saturday night.The season opener for both teams turned in the second half, when Gustafson had a hand in all five of his teams touchdowns.He threw scoring passes of 11, 16 and 74 yards -- the last to Keenan Curran -- as Montana rallied from a 17-13 deficit.In the first half, Gustafson had three turnovers, and his two fumbles set up the Red Flash for a Lance Geesey field goal and a Zack Drayer touchdown pass to Marcus Alston.They did a great job defensively against us, Montana coach Bob Stitt said of St. Francis. Offensively we didnt take advantage of a lot of things. We had some things we couldve got, and it took a little talking at halftime to get after it.Gustafson put the Grizzlies ahead for good, 20-17, with his 11-yard pass to Justin Calhoun with 2:23 left in the third quarter.Straight up, flat out, I didnt play to the best of my ability, said Gustafson, who threw for 353 yards -- 242 in the second half. No nerves, I have to play better, and we will get better.Saint Francis used an 86-yard kickoff return from Lorenzo Jerome to set up a 1-yard run by Drayer with 9:59 left in the third quarter just moments after Gustafsons 12-yard scoring run put the Grizzlies up 13-10.Jerome, who had two interceptions, added a 79-yard kickoff return for aa score in the fourth quarter.ddddddddddddGustafson then added his second TD run, a 1-yard sneak, to cap a 70-yard drive. Montana had 520 total yards; the Red Flash had 253, with 73 coming on a scoring pass from Drayer to Junior Ajayi with 2:15 left.Montana recovered the ensuing onside kick and ran out the clock.Marcus Bagley had 95 yards rushing for the Red Flash. Drayer was 13-of-25 passing for 184 yards with two scores and one interception.Theyre going to win a lot of games, Stitt said. They gave us everything we wanted. It was a struggle.THE TAKEAWAYSAINT FRANCIS: The Red Flash pushed the favored Grizzlies to the limit behind strong play from receivers Kamron Lewis and Junior Ajayi, running back Marcus Bagley and return man Lorenzo Jerome.MONTANA: The second season under Coach Bob Stitt started slowly put finished strong, with quarterback Brady Gustafson accounting for all five TDs for the Grizzlies, who are ranked No. 13 in the FCS.UP NEXTSAINT FRANCIS: The Red Flash, out of the Northeast Conference, take to the road again, for a game at No. 24 Towson of the Colonial Athletic Association.MONTANA: The Grizzlies also head on the road to face a more familiar foe in Northern Iowa, ranked No. 5 in the FCS. It will be the schools sixth meeting, including a pair of playoff games. 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