Jonty Rhodes: 10 captivating facts about cricket’s most staggering fielder

Born July 27, 1969, Jonathan Neil Rhodes was the most staggering fielders cricketing fraternity has ever witnessed. From hockey to cricket and travelling to writing, Rhodes is a man of many layers. His passion for fitness is unmatched, as he participates in trail running competitions even at the age of 47. On his birthday, let us walk through 10 captivating facts about South Africa’s swashbuckling sports personality. Also Read: 10 memorable fielding moments from Jonty Rhodes’ career

1. Has a degree in Accountancy: After he called it a day from international cricket, Rhodes worked as an accountant executive for Standard Bank, a company that has been one of the prominent sponsors of Cricket South Africa. He also has a bachelor’s degree in the subject from the University of Natal.

2. Does things his own way: Along with fielding records, Rhodes is probably the first cricketer to take paternity leave.

3. Named his daughter ‘India’: In April 2015, Rhodes’s second wife Melanie gave birth to a baby girl. The girl was born in Mumbai during the IPL 8, while he was with Mumbai Indians as their fielding coach. Given his love for India and its rich culture, the couple decided to name their daughter ‘India’.

Jonty Rhodes with his wife Melanie Jeanee looks on with their new born baby girl. Image courtesy: Yogen Shah
Jonty Rhodes with his wife Melanie Jeanee looks on with their new born baby girl. Image courtesy: Yogen Shah

4. Was selected for Olympics 1996: Rhodes’ love for sports doesn’t limit to cricket. Along with the gentlemen’s game, he also played hockey. In fact, he was in the South African squad for the Barcelona Olympics in 1992 but the side did not qualify. He was again selected for the Atlanta Olympic games in 1996 but was ruled out due to a hamstring injury.

5. Fancies playing Golf: Like many other retired cricketers, Rhodes fancies Golf as well. Even during his stay in India, while mentoring the Mumbai Indians, Rhodes makes sure he gets his daily dose of Golf.

6. Promotes South Africa tourism: Considering his fan following in India, Rhodes promotes South Africa tourism in the world’s most cricket-fanatic nation.

7. Was married to former South African cricketer’s niece: Rhodes married former South African cricketer Cuan McCarthy’s niece, Kate McCarthy, in 1994. However, the couple later split up.

8. Is also a published writer: Sports, travel and then writing; He has also written a travel guide on South Africa named Lonely Planet.

9. Passion for fielding was peerless: Just to get one more round of reflex catches, Rhodes often delayed the team bus at the end of a practice session. Such was the relentless passion he had for fielding!


10. One of South Africa’s influential personalities: In 2004, Rhodes added another milestone to his extraordinary career, as he was placed 29th in the Top 100 Great South Africans.

(Kaustubh S. Mayekar, a reporter at CricketCountry, played cricket at U-16 level. Like his idol Rahul Dravid, he often shadow-practises cricket shots. His Twitter handle is @kaumedy_.)