Former South African batsman Jonty Rhodes has ended his 9-year association with Mumbai Indians. Rhodes took up the role of fielding coach of MI in 2009 and has seen the franchise win 3 IPL titles. The role will now be taken up by New Zealander James Pamment.
MI owner Akash Ambani described Jonty’s contribution to Mumbai Indians team as ‘invaluable’ and ‘unmeasurable in words’. Speaking of his amazing journey with the boys in blue, Akash Ambani said, “Jonty has been a pillar of strength and energy in Mumbai Indians. His contribution cannot be valued in words. We respect his decision and wish him the best for the future. Jonty will always be a part of Mumbai Indians family for life.
“We are happy to introduce James Pamment to the MI Paltan (MI Fan Army). James is an experienced coach at the international level having worked with New Zealand Cricket as fielding specialist and development. What impressed us was the way James had coached Northern Districts in Champions League T20 in 2014, and to be honest, his sides’ fielding unit was one of the best Mumbai Indians had ever faced.”
Born on September 24, 1968, in Yorkshire, James Pamment has played 14 First-Class and 32 List-A matches for Auckland from 1993 to 1996. He has worked as fielding coach with Northen Districts. Speaking about his appointment as fielding coach of MI, Pamment said, “It’s an honor for me to join the ranks of Mumbai Indians. It will be a great challenge and at the same time, a privilege to fulfill the duties of a role that was held by someone like Jonty. He has instilled a brilliant work culture among the players, on and off the field, and the results are out there for everyone to see. Mumbai Indians is a champion outfit and I am grateful for the team’s ownership of giving me this opportunity,”
“It has been a remarkable journey with Mumbai Indians, one that I will cherish all my life,” said Jonty adding, “Over the last nine years, Mumbai Indians has set sporting benchmarks both on and off the field, and personally, it’s been quite a remarkable journey for me to work with fantastic set of individuals like Sachin, Rohit, Anil, Ricky, Mahela and all the support staff and players over the years.
The team’s focus on young talent and persisting with them is something I believed in and it was heartening to see the players buying into my methods. Finally, all the success wouldn’t have been possible if it hadn’t been for the Paltan’s support – the greatest fans ever! Like them, I will be an MI fan forever.”
Under Jonty, Mumbai Indians was one of the best fielding units in IPL. He played a key role in making Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma livewires on the field. Earlier Robin Singh and Paras Mhambrey also cut their ties with the franchise, Robin for business ventures and Paras for the possibility of a conflict of interest after he joined NCA.
– by Atharva Apte