Legendary cricketer Rhodes to conduct camp at TU

Kathmandu, November 12

Legendary South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes is all set to conduct a High Performance Camp here at the Tribhuvan University Stadium from Wednesday.

Organised jointly by Nepal Cricket School and Sports ED Pvt Ltd, the camp — Rise of the Cricketing Stars with Jonty Rhodes — will have aspiring cricketers from U-16, U-17 and U-19 age categories along with Nepal national team.

Rhodes will be the head coach of the camp, while former Afghanistan and West Indies fielding coach Ryan Maron and local coaches will assist him during the 10-day programme which will be held from November 14-23.

“It is not just a high performance camp for the next 10 days, we are looking for continuity and we are looking for the growth of cricket in Nepal,” said Rhodes, one of the greatest fielders of all time, at a press meet today. “Not just the players, our focus will be on local coaches.”

Rhodes said teaching the age group players from Nepal will be a challenging job. “The problem is that we have been working with elite players. Working with age group players, you might get a little bit of edgy as a coach because you have been working with the players who understand everything you are talking about and they can do it as you show them,” said Rhodes, who played for South Africa from 1992 to 2003. “The challenge for me will be to make sure that with the continuity and make the most of the facilities the boys and the coaches have.”

Rhodes said the lack of facilities in Nepal was the concern in producing players for future. “In South Africa, we have wide open spaces and schools have fantastic facilities. We went to the venue of the camp yesterday, it’s a fantastic facility. But it’s the only one facility in Kathmandu and that’s for us is a real concern. With the available facility, hopefully we can try to add value and we want that value to remain when we leave,” said Rhodes, took a world record of five catches to achieve the most dismissals by a fielder (other than a wicketkeeper) against the West Indies at Brabourne Stadium, Mumbai in 1993.

Rhodes said he and his team was looking forward to spending the next 10 days with high intensity and energy. “We don’t believe in eight-hour practice session as players get lazy at the end of the day. We will have high intensive 3-4 four hours of training every day,” said Rhodes, who is remembered for his infamous running out of Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq in the 1992 World Cup in Australia. Asked about that moment, Rhodes said that actually launched his cricket career.

“We will try to be as much possible as we can to be a catalyst for the growth of cricket in Nepal and going forward with strength to strength. It requires government and private enterprises come together, which is so important in an area like Kathmandu or Nepal where you have the passion but lack facilities. Whether you are a cricket player, fan or an owner of a business, you all are stakeholders of this great game and we want to make the difference. And that’s the key with us,” added Rhodes.

Karan Ghimire of Nepal Cricket School said the purpose of conducting the camp was to contribute to the Nepali cricket. “We used to take the NCS team to Mumbai under exchange programme and one fine day we met Mumbai Indians official who connected us to Jonty Rhodes,” said Ghimire.

The organisers have set the registration fee of Rs 50,000 per participant and Ghimire said 47 had already confirmed their participation. “It’s not about money. From that fee, we are giving much more to the aspiring cricketers. The participants will get free one-year training under NCS coaches Binod Das and Kalam Ali, which is equivalent to around Rs 40,000. And we also have insurance worth Rs 500,000 and the participants also get various facilities during the 10-day camp at TU,” Ghimire added.