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Jonty Rhodes Throws Name in Race to Be India’s Fielding Coach

(Twitter)

(Twitter)

Yes, I have applied for the position of India’s new fielding coach. My wife and I love the country, and it has already given us so much — we have 2 children born in India, Rhodes said.

Jonty Rhodes has become one of the most high-profile candidates to have applied for the position of India’s new fielding coach. The Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) came out with the advertisement calling for applications for the position of India’s new head coach along with the support staff which includes batting coach, bowling coach, fielding coach and the administrative manager.

The former Mumbai Indians fielding coach confirmed that he had sent his application for the position. “Yes, I have applied for the position of India’s new fielding coach. My wife and I love the country, and it has already given us so much — we have 2 children born in India,” Rhodes told CricketNext.

“I have spent 9 seasons as MI fielding coach based in Mumbai. I have seen incredible growth in athleticism and fielding ability in India over the past 5 years and really respect what has been achieved,” he added.

Rhodes’ nine-year stint with the four-time IPL champions came to an end last year, when he was replaced by New Zealand’s James Pamment.

“I like to think there are a few elements that I can add to what they have already achieved. I have spent two years away from high performance coaching and have spent most of my time focusing on development and grassroots coaching.

“I am a coach who loves coaching and let’s face it, the Indian cricket team is the busiest in the world, so great opportunity to be busy and doing what you love amongst players and a team that I really respect,” the 49-year-old from Pietermaritzburg said.

Rhodes twitter/icc

The South African revolutionized the art of fielding around the world since the nation’s re-entry into international cricket after the apartheid in 1992. His incredible flying run-out to dismiss Pakistan’s Inzamam ul Haq in the 1992 World Cup remains etched in every cricket fan’s mind even now.

He made fielding at the point position an art which has become essential part of the limited-overs game. “I have seen from my time in India that parents don’t let their children take much risk, and my vision would be for the Indian team not to just be the team with lowest drop catch percentage, but also the team with highest half chance opportunity taken!” Rhodes said about his vision for the role if selected as the fielding.

Rhodes more than fulfils the criterion laid down by the CoA for this position. Although he hasn’t been part of any international team’s support staff, the eligibility states any fielding coach who has been with an IPL franchise for three seasons can also apply for the job.

While the head coach will be picked by a Cricket Advisory Committee (CAC) yet to be finalized by the CoA, the support staff including the fielding coach will be picked by the senior men’s selection committee led by chairman MSK Prasad.

Rhodes joined the Mumbai Indians in 2009 and was an integral part of the franchise. His affinity to ODI vice-captain Rohit Sharma might go in favour of the South African legend.

R. Sridhar is the current fielding coach of India, whose contract was extended for 45 days till the end of the West Indies tour. Sridhar along with head coach Ravi Shastri and rest of the support staff don’t need to apply again and their applications will be automatically considered.

first published:July 24, 2019, 17:28 IST