Potchefstroom: South Africa's Jonty Rhodes, who has been ruled out of action for three weeks after breaking his hand, has not given up hope of still playing some part in his country's World Cup campaign. As selectors decide whether or not to name a replacement, Rhodes insists he can hang onto to his place despite the injury which he picked up when he tried to catch Kenya's Maurice Odumbe on Wednesday.
An X-ray revealed a break of the fifth metacarpal bone before he went to hospital in Johannesburg where two pins were inserted to hold the bone together. "I suppose if I was going to break something during the World Cup then now is as good a time as any, at least we have got three weeks before the Super Sixes," Rhodes told the SAPA news agency. "It's not the end of the world, I have played with pain before." Rhodes broke the same bone but in his left hand in Australia on the 1992-93 tour.
As to his further participation in the World Cup, Rhodes said, "I have no idea what the selectors plans are for me, I will just have to wait and see." The all-action fielder and batsman hopes to hear a decision later Thursday on his future in the tournament which South Africa has started with a three-run defeat to the West Indies and a 10-wicket victory against Kenya. It's likely that on-form all-rounder Andrew Hall would be the most likely replacement for Rhodes from the existing 15-man squad with Graeme Smith and Neil McKenzie the front runners to replace the 33-year-old Rhodes in the squad if necessary.