Sweden-bouned Jonty Rhodes backs Graeme Smith to drive new Proteas culture
CAPE TOWN - Proteas legend Jonty Rhodes is preparing to relocate to Europe to join the Svenska Cricketförbundet (Swedish Cricket Federation) on a full-time contract.
Rhodes, 51, is currently working at the Indian Premier League in UAE as the Kings XI fielding coach.
He will undertake a variety of roles ranging from overseeing coaching and development initiatives from the grassroots level all the way up to the senior national teams at the ICC Associate Member Nation.
In this current period of uncertainty in South African cricket with various agendas at play particularly related to race division, Rhodes has been one of the more clearer thinkers of late.
An electric fielder and nuggety middle-order batsman who played 52 Tests and 245 ODI’s for the Proteas from 1992 until 2003 acknowledged his “white privilege” recently.
Rhodes claimed his statistics were “average” when selected and possibly only received an opportunity to play for South Africa because “I literally was competing only with the white players”.
He reiterated this stance this week to the Hindustan Times, preferring to focus on “racial equality” than “racism”.
“In South Africa even though we all are South Africans, because of the apartheid regime, there is social and economic inequality ,” he explained.
“This white privilege still extends and carries on generation after generation, it is difficult for young black children coming up in a disadvantaged community to have a better life than their parents just because of lack of facilities. There is so much corruption.
“People keep asking me about white privilege and I keep saying that I grew up in a regime that was totally designed to ensure I had the best opportunity. So, there is racial inequality, some people call that racism, and there has to be a level playing field,” he said.
Rhodes, however, also believes that former Proteas captain and now Cricket SA Director of Cricket Graeme Smith is unfairly being labeled as the antagonist in the drama that has unfolded.
“Graeme Smith has got a lot of criticism of late but he was the captain of the team that had the first ever team culture camp and came up with the ‘Protea Fire’,” Rhodes said.