Diving is a crucial part of kho kho and helps the teams in their attack. In a unique masterclass, players of the Mumbai Khiladis on Friday got tips from South African cricket legend Jonty Rhodes on various aspects of diving.
Jonty Rhodes is one of the best exponents of diving in cricket and fans will remember a diving Rhodes’ orchestrating a spectacular runout of Inzamam-Ul Haq in the 1992 World Cup, which is regarded as one of the best runouts in cricket history.
In the session organised by the Mumbai Khiladis owned by Rapper Badshah, Punit Balan and Jhanvi Dhariwal Balan; the South African legend was in Pune to impart his knowledge on how to bring out the best when it comes to quick reflexes and diving headlong. The game’s most entertaining cricketers of his time candidly explained to the Kho Kho players how to fearlessly dive when your team is in the need of a do-or-die performance.
With Sky Dives and Pole Dives being the two most vital aspects in the ongoing inaugural edition of the Ultimate Kho Kho, Rhodes spoke about his connection with the sport and shared some useful tips on the subject with the players.
“Having spent my career doing the Sky Dive, I understand what it takes to do it. If you are not committed fully to it, you end up injuring yourself. Initially, when I started, I started diving near the stumps, I never had a pole to give me strength. I am known for sky diving because not everyone can skydive, it’s rare. We have seen players do it. It’s easy to catch the ball when it comes to you. But catching it with a dive is a different game,” he said.
“I have also played Kho Kho in my early days, but not with so many rules. You guys are the game changers. Winning is important but there should be a bigger goal in your life. You have to think beyond winning, you have to start inspiring people around and take the sport up,” he was quoted as saying in a press release.
Speaking about his experience, Rhodes said, “I wasn’t here to tell the players to dive more but to talk to them frankly about it. I can recognise and appreciate and respect the fact that these youngsters are diving. It looks easier, it looks spectacular, but there is an impact on your body. Hopefully, the players understood that and I wasn’t just talking it was coming from my heart.”
Speaking on the occasion, Madhukar Shree, CEO, Mumbai Khiladis said, “Getting a diving masterclass from the master himself was the idea behind getting Jonty Rhodes. Diving has been an important element in this sport, and I am sure players have picked up some valuable lessons on diving from this fun session with the legend himself.”