Rhodes seeks approval of South African board for Pakistan job

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The Pakistan Cricket Board (PCB) said that former South African player Jonty Rhodes would now inform them if he was keen on accepting a short-term contract as fielding consultant to help out the Pakistan senior and junior players from next month.

Director Board Operations PCB, Abbas Zaidi said the Board, through coach Bob Woolmer, had conveyed its objectives and terms to Rhodes and the matter was now in his hands. “It’s now up to him (Rhodes) to decide whether to accept our offer or decline it. But our information is that he’ll get back to us after first speaking and getting clearance from the United Board of South Africa,” Zaidi said.

“That is the exact position of this matter. Obviously we’ve heard he is also being lined up for a stint with the South African team as fielding consultant before the World Cup. But we’ve completed our discussions with him,” he added.

Rhodes, meanwhile, has said he is awaiting the South African board’s approval before he agrees to the appointment. “I was approached by Bob Woolmer last week, asking if I would be available to come and spend a week with (Pakistan) national team prior to their departure to England in June, and then stay on for another week to spend time with the A and U-19 teams. I’ve spoken to the United Cricket Board of SA, and am meeting Gerald Majola and Vince van der Bijl, CEO of professional cricket, next week to ensure they have no problem with this,” he stated.

This decision is expected by the end of this week or the start of the next. In case Rhodes cannot make it then some replacements, according to the PCB, have been lined up but their names have not been revealed.

Meanwhile, the PCB Chairman Shaharyar Khan defended the proposed appointment of Rhodes as a short-term fielding coach, arguing that his role is a part of the broader change the PCB is trying to bring about.

Shaharyar said Rhodes was not being brought to Pakistan to immediately improve Pakistan fielders.

“Obviously we do not expect our fielders to become like Rhodes, as some ex-players have thought. But we want our national team, our academy and younger players to have exposure to his (Rhodes’s) thinking. Above all, we are hoping he’ll be able to give seminars to some of our coaches so that they can also utilise his experience and skills in their training.”

“We know standards will not improve overnight but we want to instil into the team, into the academy, into the cricketing structure of the country, the importance of fielding as a discipline,” the PCB chief stated and added, “This process can begin by bringing Rhodes to Pakistan. If it goes well then we can think about bringing him back again six months down the line.”

Source: TheNews

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