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Home > Cricket > World Cup 2003 > Reuters > Report

Rhodes out for three weeks

Marcus Prior | February 13, 2003 21:06 IST

Jonty Rhodes has been ruled out for three weeks with a broken right hand, prompting the selectors to ask tournament organisers for permission to replace him with batsman Graeme Smith.

Rhodes, widely regarded as the best fielder in the world and the team's talisman, suffered the injury during the tournament hosts' 10-wicket win over Kenya in Group B on Wednesday.

The 33-year-old, due to retire from international cricket after the tournament, saw a specialist in Johannesburg on Wednesday and underwent surgery to pin a bone on the right side of the hand.

"It's not the end of the world. There's never a good time to break your hand at a World Cup but if it has to happen, perhaps this is as good a time as any, because there's time to recover before the Super Sixes," he told Reuters at the team's base in Potchefstroom.

Team officials will discuss the issue later on Thursday before deciding whether to replace Rhodes.

Rhodes had spilt a catch offered from Maurice Odumbe near the end of the Kenya innings before being replaced by 12th man Andrew Hall.

"That's when I broke the bone," Rhodes, whose hand was heavily strapped, confirmed.

"I have no idea what the selectors are going to do. I have played with pain before and I'm prepared to do it again."

South Africa team physiotherapist Shane Jabaar said: "The two pins will be in for three weeks to allow the fracture to heal.

"Thereafter there will be pain but it can be managed. During the period of recuperation Rhodes will continue to train."

Rhodes, whose athleticism in the field is often said to be worth 30 runs per innings and who also plays a key role as a batting 'finisher', had the same hand x-rayed after South Africa's shock opening defeat to West Indies. That showed severe bruising but no break.

Rhodes, also a hockey international, retired from test cricket in 2000 to concentrate on one-dayers and to spend more time with his family.

He has played 245 one-day internationals and 52 tests, averaging just over 35 in both. His last test came in August 2000.

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