Rhodes hits hard at South African selectors

Published: Tuesday, February 15, 2005, 23:53 [IST]
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Mumbai:South Africa needed to change its transformation-based selection policy if it was to excel and regain its place among the elite in world cricket, accordingto former South African batsman Jonty Rhodes.

"The development of South African cricket is a concern. Unlike in Australia where the focus is on excellence, our focus is still on transformation. You cannot become theworld's best if your focus is still on transformation," Rhodes said.

"Our selection policy too has to change a lot if our team wants to be the best in the world. Chopping and changing the players very frequently have not helped the cause. Playerslike Lance Klusener and Kevin Pietersen, who has migrated to England now, have always had love-hate relationship with the selectors despite performing very well," said the player whose athleticism in the field won him many fans worldwide.

Rhodes said former Australian captain Steve Waugh, West Indies skipper Brian Lara and Sachin Tendulkar were among the hardest hitters of the ball he had faced.

"I know for sure that Waugh and Lara could hit the ball really hard as I have broken my hand twice while trying to stop their shots," said Rhodes, who is in Mumbai to promote tourism for Conservation Corporation Africa.

"Tendulkar, who uses heavy bats, is another batsman who hits the ball very hard as his timing is always immaculate."

On the South African batsmen, Rhodes said "our batsmen are more comfortable playing fast bowlers than quality spinners. We are used to playing fast bowlers on fast wicketsback home but we have found it hard facing quality spinners like Anil Kumble, Shane Warne or Muralitharan."

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