After speculation linking him with both England and Sri Lanka, Jonty Rhodes is to stay on as fielding coach for South Africa.
Rhodes, regarded by many as the best fielder in the world during his playing days with South Africa, had only been contracted by Cricket South Africa until the Cricket World Cup in March/April. Since then there had been speculation as to whether or not he would be retained by the South African cricket team, with Jonty himself saying that much owed to what his family thought of him spending time away touring with the team. After the arrival of his ex team mate, and close friend, Alan Donald, to the England coaching set up, it was believed that Jonty could follow, becoming England’s permanent fielding coach, a position they have not filled since Trevor Penney left to assist Tom Moody in Sri Lanka in 2005. There was also talk of Sri Lanka looking to recruit Rhodes as new coach Trevor Bayliss assistant coach. Rhodes has distanced himself from such rumours by stating
“I can honestly say I have never received any offers from England,” Rhodes told
News24.com. “Some time ago there was a rumour I was going to coach Sri Lanka,
but I was never approached by them either.”
The South African coach, Mickey Arthur, has also reiterated the stance that Jonty will be part of his coaching stuff for the immediate future.
“Jonty has confirmed he’s staying with us.”
“He is an integral member of our team and he is committed to staying with
the Proteas,” Arthur said. “I don’t know where all these rumours start, but
Jonty’s definitely with us. I hope we can squash all these rumours”
So,at least with regard to Jonty Rhodes, South Africa will not be allowing one of its prized assets to be lost to a opposition cricket set up.