The Castle Lager Proteas made their contribution towards Nelson Mandela Day, when they hosted a coaching clinic for 67 minutes with a group of under-17 cricketers in Colombo on Thursday. The Proteas are preparing for the first ODI against Sri Lanka taking place on Saturday, but felt it was important to share some “Madiba magic” with young cricket enthusiasts in Sri Lanka.
Proteas captain, AB de Villiers, led the birthday praise for the 95-year-old former statesman: “It was wonderful to be able to contribute to the local community today in celebration of Nelson Mandela’s 67 years of service to our country. These are young aspiring cricketers and I have no doubt that they will carry this experience with them as motivation. They are really talented; I don’t know if that’s a good thing for South Africa, but Sri Lanka cricket is quite healthy.
“There are no words to describe the impact Madiba has made on us as cricketers and for sport in our country,” De Villiers added. “We hope that he is peaceful on this special day of his, and that all South Africans celebrate in a way that would make him proud.”
JP Duminy added: “Having this coaching clinic is a small contribution in the bigger context of what Nelson Mandela has done for South Africa. It was a great experience interacting with these up and coming cricketers, their enthusiasm and excitement for the game is humbling. I remember being at that age and being consumed by the game, I hope they learnt a lot.”
Aaron Phangiso hopes Madiba’s legacy lives on forever: “It’s a pity that Nelson Mandela day only happens once a year, we should strive to lead the life that Madiba lived at every occasion. Tata is an icon, and he deserves every bit of recognition and adoration that comes his way.”
July 18th is the birthday of former South African president, Nelson Mandela, and Mandela Day is an internationally recognised day on which individuals are encouraged to spend 67 minutes giving back to a worthy cause.