February 12, 2003

Injury threatens South Africa's fielding maestro


Jonty Rhodes' future in the World Cup is uncertain after South Africa's star fielder fractured a bone in his hand against Kenya.

Rhodes sustained the injury as he dived for the ball at point during the Kenyan innings and was taken off the field in considerable pain.

"He was examined by physio Shane Jabaar and sent for x-rays which showed a break," revealed captain Shaun Pollock. "The doctors then sent him through to Johannesburg to see a specialist to find out the extent of the injury."

Rhodes, 33, who is renowned for his fielding ability, is playing in his fourth World Cup.

"We will wait for the news but perhaps we can look at a similar situation to Andre Joubert in the 1995 World Cup," Pollock added, referring to rugby player Joubert's broken hand eight years ago. The full-back spent time in a hyperbaric chamber to quicken his recovery.

Pollock was nonetheless heartened by his side's 10-wicket victory following their defeat by the West Indies in the tournament opener.

"After the loss on Sunday, there were certain points that we wanted to work on and we wanted to make sure we were clinical in our approach. We bowled pretty well and were pretty good in all areas."

The Kenyan captain, Steve Tikolo, could not hide his disappointment, but put his team's showing down to nerves in their first World Cup game.

"We lost wickets at regular intervals and we didn't bat our full compliment of overs and that didn't help us at all. We will have to go back and look into the areas where we went wrong and try and rectify them for the next game. Our aim was to make the Super Sixes and we still believe we can do that."

South Africa meet New Zealand next, at the Wanderers on Sunday in what could well be a crucial game for both sides.