Former South Africa cricketer Jonty Rhodes has been appointed head coach of the Sweden national team.
Rhodes' signing is part of the Swedish Cricket Federation's (SCF) efforts to invest in junior cricket, high performance and increase interest in the sport in the country.
Cricket participation in Sweden has steadily grown in the recent past with a massive 300% hike in sporting involvement over the last two years.
"Our growth targets and key areas are directed toward junior cricket and high performance. Jonty will play a pivotal role in lifting our players as well as assisting in securing quality coaching framework for the future sustainability of the game. I am delighted to have him as part of our small and ambitious team,” SCF director Benn Harradine said.
Rhodes is considered to be one of the finest fielders to play the game and established himself as an aggressive middle-order batsman for South Africa over the course of his career.
He featured in 297 international matches across formats managing to rack up 8,467 runs in ODIs and Tests.
Post-retirement, Rhodes has had short coaching stints with South Africa, Kenya and Sri Lanka and is currently associated with Kings XI Punjab as a fielding coach in the Indian Premier League.
”I am really excited to relocate to Sweden with my family and work together with the Swedish Cricket community. This opportunity has come at a perfect time and I am grateful to be able to invest my energies in a completely new environment. I can't wait to get started,” he said about his new role.
Rhodes' inclusion in the set-up will hone the young and exciting talent of Sweden, who are ranked 43 in the T20I rankings.
“Jonty's appointment comes with great anticipation for the Swedish Cricket Federation," said Zalmay Daftani, chairman of the SCF board.
"Our goals are to provide a transparent and sustainable platform for our young and talented players and present Sweden as a highly performing competitor within the international arena."