Today iconic South African cricketing legend Jonty Rhodes celebrates his milestone 50th birthday. And to celebrate with the greatest fielder of all time we bring you some captivating facts about the man of the hour.
- Jonty Rhodes made his Test début against India in the first Test of the ‘Friendship Tour’ at his home ground in Kingsmead, Durban on 13 November 1992. He made his One Day International début against Australia in South Africa’s first match of the 1992 Cricket World Cup in Sydney on February 26, 1992.
- Besides cricket, Rhodes also represented South Africa at hockey. He was chosen as part of the 1992 Olympic Games squad to go to Barcelona, but unfortunately the squad did not qualify. Rhodes was also called up for trials to play at the 1996 Olympic Games but he was ruled out because of a hamstring injury.
- Rhodes scored his first Test century on the last day of the first test of a three-match series against Sri Lanka during the 1993–1994 season. He scored 101 not out. Batting alongside Clive Eksteen, the pair salvaged a draw. South Africa went on to win the test series 1–0 by winning the second test match and drawing the third.
- On November 14, 1993 Rhodes took a world record of five catches to achieve the most dismissals by a fielder (other than a wicketkeeper). He did this against the West Indies in Mumbai.
- Jonty has a very mild form of epilepsy, but his seizures are only activated by a concussion or a head injury.
- Rhodes loved fielding, and just to get in one more round of reflex catches, he often delayed the team bus at the end of a practice session.
- Jonty Rhodes ran out Pakistan’s Inzamam-ul-Haq at the 1992 Cricket World Cup in an iconic fielding display. Inzamam had set off for a run but was turned back by his batting partner. The ball had rolled out towards Rhodes, who ran in, gathered it and raced the retreating Inzamam to the wicket. Jonty, with ball in hand, dived full length to break the stumps and effect the run out
- Jonty promotes South African tourism in India. Because of his huge fan following there, he was appointed as the brand ambassador to South African Tourism.