He can defy gravity when it comes to jumping for an on-field catch and is a pro at adventure sports such as surfing, but when it comes to dancing, Jonty Rhodes breaks into cold sweat. The former South African cricketer says he can’t ever act in a film, especially if it’s a Bollywood flick. “Bollywood actors sing and groove. I know my limitations. I don’t sing, I don’t dance, nor do I have the looks of a hero — it’s zero out of three for me,” says the 42-year-old.
While attempting to drive a cycle rickshaw during a Delhi visit to launch his range of wellness and endurance products, Rhodes says, “I’m the kind of guy who likes to try his hand at everything.” Would that include trying to woo an Indian girl? “No, no, no ...not at all!” says Rhodes, who is a single father of two children.
Currently enjoying a stint as the fielding coach of the IPL team Mumbai Indians, Rhodes hit headlines recently with reports that he was going to enter the reality show, Bigg Boss on Diwali. “I heard that too. I’ve in fact been turning on the channel to see if Shakira is sitting there,” he says, dodging the question. We persist.
How does he plan to tackle the ever-aggressive 10 women on the show, if he indeed takes part? “I wouldn’t. I’ll kind of let the house tackle me,” he replies.
In an interview last month, the blue-eyed cricketer told us how eager he is to meet model Poonam Pandey, who’d promised to strip if India won the cricket World Cup. “A lot of people were waiting to see the show that she was going to put on for the Indian team. I, too, had put my hand up for that. If she needs a little practice or wants someone to advise her, I’d be happy to help… as a father figure,” he winks.
Taking a dig at Bollywood actor Shah Rukh Khan, on the latter’s IPL team Kolkata Knight Riders, which lost in the last series, he says, “At an after-match presentation, Shah Rukh suddenly threw half a coconut at me. I was holding a trophy in one hand and the microphone in the other. Fortunately, I still managed to take the catch. It was a bad throw, which is why KKR didn’t do well – may be their owner was coaching them in fielding,” he says.
Full name: Jonathan Neil Rhodes
Cricketing career: With the South African team from 1992-2003, he is the only cricketer in history of cricket to be awarded Man of the Match for fielding
Currently: Account executive at a bank and fielding coach of Mumbai Indians, Single dad to Daniella, 10 and Ross,5