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Abu Dhabi T10: SAMP Army sign Jonty Rhodes as global mentor


Abu Dhabi, Nov 17 (IANS) The sixth season of Abu Dhabi T10 brings forth some of the most exciting talent in the sport of cricket, and along with that introduces franchises from the USA, making it an 8-team tournament.

Morrisville SAMP Army, one of two new teams, have made their intentions clear for the tournament, picking a strong side and also appointing the very experienced former South African legend Jonty Rhodes as the mentor. Rhodes will join his former teammate and close-friend Lance Klusener, the head coach, said that he is looking forward to what is a new challenge for him.

“One of the real benefits of my role with the SAMP Army is that I am not restricted to just the mentorship role with the team. I want to add value at the grassroot levels as well. And with the presence in India and North America as well, it’s an amazing opportunity for me to be able to hopefully add value,” Rhodes said.

“I am looking forward to working more with the SAMP Army franchise with Ritesh Patel and Madhukar Shree leading the way.”

The former South African ace went on to explain that his role as a mentor will be down to addressing some of the bigger picture situations in a high-intensity tournament.

“The T10 is the fastest format in the game, and as a mentor I will look to address the bigger picture situation. The coaching staff can get caught up with the match and every over and ball. But as a mentor, you’re not looking at particular incidents, you are trying bring your experience to help and allow the players to do what they do best.”

“Sometimes you’re not needed but then there are times when the coaches and the players might need to bounce some ideas off of you, and I feel this is a role that I can certainly play.”

Rhodes, one of the most feared names in the final decade of the last century, also touched upon how the game has evolved from his days as a player.

“We were quite interested in using technology to assist us with training methods, and understanding opponents. So, we were one of the first sides to adopt technology in that sense, and I have always been a firm believer that there is constant change in the sport, and cricket does continue to evolve. So T10’s been around for a while, and in many places, it is a very popular format because it takes less time.”

“The best players want to play this tournament, and we have some of the best in the business coming for the Abu Dhabi T10, and that’s what you want to see really.”

It’s a pleasure having someone as experienced as Jonty onboard for Samp Army globally. His experience and immense knowledge will surely help our franchise go to the next level, said Ritesh Patel, owner Samp Army.

The 8-team tournament kicks off on 23 November, with the Morrisville SAMP Army playing their first game on 24th November. Looking ahead to the fortnight of cricket, Morrisville SAMP Army CEO Madhukar Shree said, “We are keenly awaiting the first matchday, and I can tell you, that Lance and Jonty are doing all they can to ensure we put our best foot forward. The SAMP Army mean business and we have two South Africans who revolutionised the game in their own way. We are all hoping for more of the same in Abu Dhabi.”

“It’s a pleasure having someone as experienced as Jonty onboard for Samp Army globally. His experience and immense knowledge will surely help our franchise go to the next level,” said Ritesh Patel, Owner SAMP Army.



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