Rhodes unavailable for Over-50s Cricket World Cup
South Africa have been dealt a blow a month before the start of the Over-50s Cricket World Cup with the forced withdrawal of star batsman Jonty Rhodes.
The 50-year-old veteran of four World Cup campaigns was set for a fifth with the Over-50s, but a clash of commitments forced him to withdraw.
Rhodes was committed to play in a series of exhibition games in India after the World Cup, but the dates were changed which ruled out Rhodes’ participation.
“It is frustrating and regrettable because I was really looking forward to having another crack at winning a World Cup,” Rhodes said.
“I will still be around the squad whenever I can be and will be doing everything I can to support the players and help with preparation but, unfortunately, I won’t be able to play.”
SA Over-50s captain and former Proteas all rounder Dave Callaghan said: “We all knew that we would have to raise our games by at least 20 percent if Jonty was missing when we played together 25 years ago – and the same thing applies now. Jonty is impossible to replace but we still have a very strong squad.”
Rhodes is replaced by Cape Town’s leg-spinning all rounder, Bruce Wilson, who played Premier League cricket for WPCC and Claremont for over 25 years.
The SA squad will be coached by legendary fast bowler Allan Donald, and includes former Proteas internationals Louis Koen, Pieter Strydom, Henry Williams and Alan Dawson.
The tournament involves 12 teams and will be played in and around Cape Town from March 11, with the final at Newlands on March 24. Australia are the defending Over-50 champions, having defeated Pakistan by just three runs in a tense final in Sydney in 2018.
The tournament is sponsored by Evergreen Lifestyle Retirement Villages.
“Evergreen Lifestyle is delighted to serve as headline sponsor for the Over-50s Cricket World Cup. Not only are we a sports-loving brand, but we are excited to play a positive role in the establishment of veterans cricket in South Africa. Our cricket legends of yesteryear deserve our support,” said Evergreen Retirement Holdings brand ambassador Arthur Case.
SA Over 50s squad: Dave Callaghan (Captain), Louis Koen, Alan Dawson, Pieter Strydom, Kenny Jackson, Dave Holgate, Anwell Newman, Neil Fusedale, Rodney Malamba, Mlungisi ‘Lefty’ Ngece, Dave Duncan, Bruce Wilson, Warne Rippon, Brad Player, Nazeem White and Henry Williams.
Coach: Allan Donald
Manager: Roy Meeser
Physio: Marc Naidoo