The Death of Nelson Mandela
By Ravendra Madholall in Toronto
Nelson Mandela’s presence at the 2003 International Cricket Council limited-over World Cup was indeed special for many lovers of the game while he witnessed the championship encounter between bitter-rivals India and eventual winner Australia from a main pavilion’s balcony in Johannesburg.

Nelson Mandela (right) with the iconic Brian Lara. Photo courtesy of EPSN.

The innings was brilliant before he was ultimately stumped at 95 on Thursday at his home also in Johannesburg, having suffered with a lung infection disease for a lengthy period. The world is shock! But what he had done will remain unparalleled.

Born on July 18, 1918, the iconic figure was an ardent support of the game cricket and by extension sports a testimony to his commitment for the Proteas.
After South Africa was isolated from the rest of cricketing world from 1970 to 1991 they subsequently made their debut in 1992 against the mighty Australia, courtesy of Mandela.

He was very fortunate too to be in attendance at the FIFA Soccer World Cup 2010.

Having caught up with a friend Reku Ovbiagele in Toronto from an African country, he stated it was a father who died owing to his fight and struggle for his country. He will be missed and remembered given the fact of his astonishing imprisonment.

Mandela was world-rated for his humanity and his consistent involvement with charitable organizations even at the helm of the nation having fought for anti-apartheid but gained the distinction for freedom.

He met many celebrity cricketers during the mega affair 2003 including former West Indies skipper Brian Lara, and the just retired Indian international batting start Sachin Tendulkar among a plethora of distinguished cricketers.

Former and present great cricketers from around the global unquestionably have shown respect and regard for him and with the commencement of the India/South Africa series the same day of his death, the players have much to remind about.

Fittingly, home-team South Africa thrashed India in the first one-day game and the massive margin of 141-run can now be dedicated to his sympathetic families in South Africa and probably elsewhere.

They certainly will pay tribute to him for the remainder of the series and definitely the hosts’ players will reminisce of his input for the cricket during his tenure as president, particularly for this adorable game.