Rhodes has sight firmly set on World Cup

Published: Monday, November 5, 2001, 20:50 [IST]
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Hong Kong: Increasingly-fragile South African One-day star Jonty Rhodes has his eye on playing at the 2003 World Cup in front of his adoring home fans. "I definitely want to be around for the next World Cup. I will have to nurse myself carefully as I'm not getting any younger," Rhodes, 32, said on Friday while in Hong Kong to play in this weekend's international six-a-side tournament.

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Rhodes, who retired from Test cricket in 2000 but is still one of the world's best fielders in the shortened versions of the game, will captain South Africa at the Hong Kong Sixes tournament. His team includes Henry Williams, who is making his return to international cricket after serving a six-month ban for match-fixing.Rhodes said he retired from Test cricket for family and injury reasons.

"One was because my daughter Daniella had just been born and I didn't want to be away too much from her. The other was that I wanted to conserve my back which was getting a pounding from all that diving around,'' Rhodes said.A superb middle-order bat, Rhodes played 52 Tests and became the first Springbok to play over 200 One-day Internationals for his country."Occasionally my back gets out of alignment. I have to see a chiropractor once a month. But so far I have not had any serious muscular injury and I want to keep it that way because of the World Cup.

"South Africa is pooled with India, Sri Lanka and Hong Kong in the preliminary round of the $ 250,000 dollar tournament. The other group comprises favourites Pakistan - which is fielding Test stars Wasim Akram, Shahid Afridi and Azhar Mahmood - England, Australia and the United Arab Emirates. The top two teams in each group will qualify for the semi-finals.

AFP Copyright AFP 2001

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