The South African star player and fielding legend Jonty Rhodes turned 51 on Monday. Wishes poured in from all over the world for the veteran cricketer, who is one of the greatest fielders in the history of cricket.
The International Cricket Council (ICC) also took to Twitter to wish the legendary fielder who has inspired a generation of cricketers and transformed the fielding compartment of the game. “Happy Birthday Jonty Rhodes, perhaps the greatest fielder cricket has ever known”, ICC wrote on their official twitter handle.
Rhodes who has worked with the IPL team Mumbai Indian as a fielding coach in 2009, received gushing wishes from the team. The franchise posted a photo of the veteran cricketer on their Instagram account and wrote, “Happy birthday to our former fielding coach and a forever fan favourite in Mumbai, @jontyrhodes8”
Cricketers Harbhajan Singh and Suresh Raina also sent him their wishes. Raina wrote on his twitter handle:
“A very Happy Birthday to the Flying Bird @JontyRhodes8 Thank you for making us believe that Fielding can make us win a match! More Power To You, Stay Blessed!!”
The player is not just known for his A-liner fielding but his tenacity and passion towards the game. He has made himself extremely popular, especially among the Indian fans.
Celebrating the legacy of Superman, let us check out a few fun facts about the living legend :-
1. Jonty Rhodes is greatly inspired by India’s rich mix of culture, heritage, and traditions. He says that he finds Indians to be forward-thinking. His admiration for the country is so immense that he named his daughter India Jeanne Rhodes.
2. Rhodes holds a world record of taking maximum catches in a game by a player other than the wicket-keeper i.e. 5 catches in the year 1993 in a One-Day international against West Indies.
3. Rhodes is not only a great cricketer but a great hockey player as well. Yes, before playing cricket Rhodes used to play hockey and he was in the 1992 Olympic game squad, but the team failed to qualify.
4. Rhodes started his test career against India in the year 1992.
5. After his retirement, the cricketer took a bank job at Standard Bank as he has a good relationship with the bank due to sponsorship.
6. He takes a keen interest in writing as well and has produced a work of his own in the form of a travel guide on his country South Africa, titled ‘Lonely Planet’.
Jonty Rhodes has also applied for the post of Indian men’s cricket team fielding coach. As of now, there is no confirmation from the BCCI’s end on his proposal. In an interaction with ANI, BCCI sources have confirmed that “Former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes has applied for fielding coach. Still, there is time for the final selection. He has worked with the IPL team and there is no issue of conflict of interest.”
Looking at the love and support Rhodes gets from India it is easy to predict that if he gets selected as the fielding coach he will be enjoying his time in India and Indian players will get an opportunity to learn several handy skills from him.