Team Mumbai’s decision to send their young players to train in South Africa under Shaun Pollock and Jonty Rhodes has yielded a pleasant surprise.
Now that the Indian Premier League (IPL) will be played there, seven Team Mumbai youngsters already have the experience of two weeks’ training in the conditions there.
However, it is Pollock, the team’s chief mentor, who is the happiest at the turn of events because the former South African all-rounder will be making his debut in his new role at home.
Durban, where Pollock grew up and is based, is likely to be Team Mumbai’s base too. “We are not sure about that yet, it’s a decision which the IPL and officials here will make,” he said on Tuesday.
There’s hardly any doubt that Pollock knows the conditions in South Africa like the back of his hand.
To add to it, there’s Rhodes, who hails from Pietermaritzberg but has played his cricket in Natal and Pretoria.
Pollock said he and Rhodes are already busy making plans to make it a good outing for Mumbai.
“The team is a very good mix of young players and experienced hands. Sachin (Tendulkar) and Sanath (Jayasuriya) have played all over the world and there’s Zaheer Khan too. So what I’m precisely looking at is to give the young boys a boost. And I’m their host now,” Pollock said.
Pollock is confident that South Africa fulfils all the basic needs to host a mega T20 tournament as far as playing conditions are concerned.
“The weather is perfect,” he added in good measure. Surely, the experience of hosting the inaugural T20 World Cup will come in handy for the new hosts.