Jonty Rhodes will be the star attraction in a unique Israel team that will include a collection of Jewish cricketers from South Africa, Australia, Ireland and India that will take on an India A squad to mark the country’s 60th anniversary.
The former South Africa great, 38, who retired from the game five years ago, has confirmed his participation for the three one-dayers to be held in Tel Aviv and Ashdod from July 12-17.
Organised by Israel Cricket Association chairman Stanley Perlman, Rhodes will be joined by former Netherlands, Somerset and Glamorgan star Roland Lefebvre, Adam Bacher, who captained South Africa at the 2005 Maccabiah Games, Michael Klinger, Steven Herzberg (Australia), Jason and Greg Molins (Ireland) and Bensiyon Songavkar, an Indian Jew who has represented Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy.
“Israel celebrated its 60th birthday recently and it is a very special occasion for us,” said Perlman, who is also an ICC board member. “Believe it or not, no other sport here has organised any such celebration and I am so happy cricket is the game that has gone ahead. It is also a great opportunity to bring in a group of good cricketers and show Israel what the game is all about.
“It was very difficult to find enough first-class cricketers from around the world who are Jewish. We even managed to get a Jewish player from India.
The Indian A squad will contain a collection of fringe India players and some Under 19 cricketers.
Perlman said: “My first thought was who would I want to celebrate this with? The answer was clear: my friends from India, who share very rich historical ties with us.”