Jonty Rhodes is a former South African Test and One Day International cricketer who played for the South African cricket team between 1992 and 2003.
He was born in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. As a right-handed batsman he was noted for his quick running, however he was especially noted for his fielding, particularly ground fielding and throwing from his most common position of backward point. A report prepared by Cricinfo in late 2005 showed that since the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he had effected the ninth highest number of run outs in ODI cricket of any fieldsman, with the third highest success rate.
During his career he also played first-class cricket for Gloucestershire County Cricket Club, KwaZulu-Natal and Natal. Jonty retired from Test cricket in 2000, and from one day cricket in 2003 after an injury during the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
He also represented South Africa at hockey, and was chosen as part of the 1992 Olympic Games squad to go to Barcelona; however, the squad did not qualify to go to the tournament. He was also called up for trials to play in the 1996 Olympics but was ruled out by a hamstring injury.
Jonty 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, scoring 41 in the first innings and 26 not out in the second.
He scored his first Test century during the first Test of a three match series against Sri Lanka at Moratuwa during the 1993–1994 season. Batting on the last day, Rhodes scored 101 not out and along with Clive Eksteen salvaged a draw. South Africa went on to win the series 1-0 by winning the second match and drawing the third.
Jonty made his one-day international début against Australia in South Africa’s opening match of the 1992 Cricket World Cup at the Sydney Cricket Ground on 26 February 1992.
He shot to fame after South Africa’s fifth game of the World Cup, against Pakistan on the 8 March 1992 at the Brisbane Cricket Ground. South Africa batted first, scoring 211 off 50 overs. Pakistan’s innings was reduced to 36 overs because of rain interruptions, with the target revised from 212 to 194 runs. Inzamam-ul-Haq and Pakistan captain Imran Khan resumed the innings when play was restarted. With the score at 135/2 Inzamam, who was at the time on 48, set off for a run but was turned back by Khan. The ball had rolled out towards Rhodes who ran in from backward point, gathered the ball 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. The run out, the subject of a famous photograph, is still considered one of the more spectacular feats of that World Cup and the defining moment of Jonty’s career.
On 14 November 1993 he took a world record of five catches, to achieve the most dismissals by a fielder (other than a wicketkeeper) against the West Indies at Brabourne Stadium, Bombay.
Jonty announced his retirement from Test match cricket in 2001 in order to allow him to continue playing until the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa. His last Test match was on 6 August, 2000 at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo against Sri Lanka. He made scores of 21 and 54 in the two innings. Sri Lanka went on to win the match by six wickets.
Jonty announced that he planned to retire from One-Day International cricket after the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa. Jonty worked as a fielding coach for the South African national cricket team, as well as the Mumbai Indians. More recently Jonty took part in the South African Legends v Sri Lanka Legends in Indor on September the 18th 2022