[India], December 7 (ANI): Three-time Indian Premier League (IPL) champions Mumbai Indians on Thursday announced the appointment of New Zealander James Pamment as their new fielding coach as the team seek to defend their title in 2018.
James Pamment will replace former South African player Jonty Rhodes, the former South African international.
Jonty has been an integral part of the champion outfit for nine seasons, since 2009, and has now expressed his desire to move on to spend more time on his personal business ventures.
Attributing Jonty's work ethics as a key in Mumbai Indians' successful journey, Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani termed Jonty's contribution as 'invaluable' and 'unmeasurable in words'.
"Jonty has been a pillar of strength and energy in Mumbai Indians. His contribution cannot be valued in words. We respect his decision and wish him the best for the future.Jonty will always be a part of Mumbai Indians family for life.
"We are happy to introduce James Pamment to the MI Paltan (MI Fan Army). James is an experienced coach at the international level having worked with New Zealand Cricket as fielding specialist and development. What impressed us was the way James had coached Northern Districts in Champions League T20 in 2014, and to be honest, his sides' fielding unit was one of the best Mumbai Indians had ever faced."
James, who held the Head Coach position at Northern District before accepting the new assignment, expressed 'excitement' to be part of the high-profile club.
"It's an honour for me to join the ranks of Mumbai Indians. It will be a great challenge and at the same time a privilege to fulfil the duties of a role that was held by someone like Jonty. He has instilled a brilliant work culture among the players, on and off the field, and the results are out there for everyone to see. Mumbai Indians' is a champion outfit and I am grateful to the team's ownership on giving me this opportunity," said James.
"It has been a remarkable journey with Mumbai Indians, one that I will cherish all my life," said Jonty adding, "Over the last nine years, Mumbai Indians has set sporting benchmarks both on and off the field, and personally, it's been quite a remarkable journey for me to work with fantastic set of individuals like Sachin, Rohit, Anil, Ricky, Mahela and all the support staff and players over the years.
The teams' focus on young talent and persisting with them is something I believed in and it was heartening to see the players buying into my methods. Finally, all the success wouldn't have been possible if it hadn't been for the Paltan's support - the greatest fans ever! Like them, I will be an MI fan forever."
The auction for the new IPL season will begin in February while the 11th edition of the tournament will begin in April. (ANI)