Mumbai, Mar 30: Former South Africa cricketer and fielding coach of Mumbai Indians, Jonty Rhodes who is currently in the city for the fifth edition of the Indian Premier League terms the event as 'sportainment', a mixture of sport and entertainment.
"The best thing about IPL is it's total entertainment, apart from providing great cricket skills. If people ask me where's the best place to play cricket in South Africa, I would say Port Elizabeth. There's a (music) band there, the crowd gets involved, they sing songs," said Rhodes.
"The game's changed. There's Test cricket, there's 50-over cricket. The 20-over cricket is about sportainment, entertainment and sport at the same time. That's been the best for me. "There's great crowd participation, it's exciting for everyone and it has brought in new viewers -- ladies, families...that's so important for the future growth of cricket," he added.
Rhodes ensured that he was guarded when he spoke about West Indies' Sunil Narine could prefer to play the IPL than Test series against Australia, whether this has become a trend in cricket, he said "I don't know. It's difficult to ask players not to play IPL. I never had that choice (in my playing days), so I can't comment on it."
Narine, might follow Chris Gayle's foot steps if he prefers to play the league over Tests.
The dashing opener, Gayle who has not played for the national side for more than a year following a dispute with West Indies Cricket Board. Meanwhile, the hard-hitter decided to play all the T20 tournaments around the world which includes playing for RCB in IPL, Big Bash and Bangladesh Premier League.