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“I can’t wait to get started.”

That is former South African cricketer Jonty Rhodes’ opinion after he has signed up to be the new national head coach of Sweden’s cricket team.

The announcement was made in a statement released by the Swedish Cricket Federation (SCF).

“Jonty will play a pivotal role in lifting our players as well as assisting in securing quality coaching framework for the future sustainability of the game,” said Benn Harradine, SCF Sports Director.

“I am delighted to have him as part of our small and ambitious team,” he added.

According to the SCF, cricket is the second fastest growing sport in Sweden. Over the past two years it has seen a 300% increase in participation. The SCF aims to implement strategies for cricket growth and development while also introducing the game to a diverse cross section of Swedish inhabitants.

The 51-year-old cricket legend is no stranger to international coaching – he has been involved in coaching teams for Kenya, South Africa and Sri Lanka. He is currently the fielding coach for Kings XI Punjab – one of the teams participating in the popular Indian Premier League.

In the statement Rhodes was quoted as saying he is “really excited to relocate to Sweden with my family and work together with the Swedish Cricket community. This opportunity has come at a perfect time and I am grateful to be able to invest my energies in a completely new environment.”

The all-rounder was known for his exceptional fielding abilities. He gained international fame when he dived into the stumps to dismiss Inzamam-ul-Haq during a World Cup match between South Africa and Pakistan in 1992. South Africa went on to win that match by 20 runs.

Rhodes and his family will be relocating to Sweden in November where they will be based in the capital Stockholm.

Click on the Emerging Cricket link below for an interview with Rhodes about his new role.

Image credits: The Statesman and Twitter

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