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Jonty, the man without a plan

Chants of Jonty... Jonty... Jonty ..., accompanied by a loud round of applause rent the air at the Barn Hall on the National Institute of Technology campus here on Thursday. Jonty Rhodes, the former South African cricketer, was quick to acknowledge the reception.

“I am not too sure why you got me here,” quipped Rhodes as he began his speech at Carpe Diem, the guest lecture series of Festember, the annual cultural extravaganza of NIT-T. Rhodes’ recounting of his famous runout of Inzamam-ul-Haq, the former Pakistan cricket team captain, prompted loud cheers.

“Who would run all the way to the wickets; instead of throwing the ball at the stumps, trip over shoe laces and dive into the wickets? Everyone was shouting throw the ball Jonty, but only thing I had in my advantage was that I knew it was Inzamam-ul-Haq. I am eternally grateful to Inzamam and his running ability. I continue to thank him every year,” he said.

Describing himself as a man without a plan, he said: “When you are fielding at backward point, it is a good thing to be a man without a plan, because you don’t know what’s going to come; being flexible is the key.”

Rhodes said it was no good getting an opportunity and not being ready for it. “No matter what level you are playing, it is about doing the basics well not just in the game but in the build-up to it. A big lesson to me is - practice makes (you) perfect.”

He felt that fear of failure held most people back from stepping out of their comfort zone.

Rhodes, who is the mentor for Ruby Trichy Warriors in the Tamil Nadu Premier League, fielded questions from students in the presence of Mini Shaji Thomas, Director, NIT-T.


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