Coming out in public to address issues that can be seen from the outside, but are not paid attention by the administration, is a really brave move by any individual. And, Jonty Rhodes, who was one of South Africa’s finest cricketers ever, recently came out and addressed the apartheid and racism issues that are still affecting in the cricketing scenes of the country.
Jonty, in his playing days, was an exceptional cricketer. Known for his fielding skills across the globe, he played 297 international matches for the Proteas. During his playing years, he scored, more than 8,000 runs in international cricket and maintained an average of 35. Such was his fielding skills that he was even awarded the Man of the Match award for his fielding.
As reported by India.com, Jonty, while recalling his early days in the sport, told that he was benefitted by the fact that only 50% population of the country was allowed to play the sport. He said, “I certainly benefited from the fact that I wasn’t really competing with 50% of the population. I literally was competing only with the white players. You talk about white privilege and it raises a lot of heat and debate on social media but it is the case. I’m very aware of that. My cricketing statistics as a player were very average when I was selected.”
Jonty Rhodes believes cricket has a lot to learn from rugby in South Africa
Also talking about the competition that would have existed, if the other half of the population was allowed to participate, he told that he would have never made it to the national team. South African cricket has been struggling after the departure of AB de Villiers, Hashim Amla, Graeme Smith and the like from the sport. And, according to Rhodes, it is the lack of opportunities for the talent in the disadvantaged communities, that is the root cause of this problem.
Rhodes quoted the example of Rugby, a sport that has been faring pretty well as compared to cricket. He said, “What rugby has done well is in building their structures, working in disadvantaged areas. Cricket has a lot to learn.”
Watch: Irfan Pathan’s interview post his retirement
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