‘I had grass and blood all over’: How AB de Villiers was inspired by Jonty Rhodes
AB de Villiers has revealed how former South Africa player Jonty Rhodes inspires him to be a great fielder. Rhodes, considered by many as the greatest fielder of all time, produced one of the most iconic sights in World Cup history when he dived full stretched and whipped off the stumps to run Inzamam Ul Haq out during the 1992 editions.
De Villiers, who was a pretty good fielder himself, spoke about how that effort from Rhodes left an impact on him as a kid.
“Jonty Rhodes was the standout. Once again, from a young age, he had the biggest impact. When I was 8 years old, I saw the run out live in the World Cup 1992. That had a huge impact on me,” AB de Villiers told BBC London’s Kevin Hand for Middlesex Cricket.
Rhodes’ run out of Inzamam makes for one of the most defining moments in cricket. Rhodes would go on and make a career out of taking sublime catches and producing thrilling direct hits that would result in a run-out. Even though de Villiers never could pull off a Rhodes-like run-out in his career, the former South Africa captain revealed he grew up practicing that type of a run out.
“I practiced that run out every day of my life. I had grass all over, blood but I had to practice that run out. I never had the opportunity to do that run out in my career. But it still inspired me so much to do special things on the field, to take catches for the team. That’s the way Jonty played. That’s the way I always wanted,” de Villiers added.