Mirror Magazine


Goodbye Jonty
It was way back in 1992. A semi-final match between South Africa and England in the Cricket World Cup 1992 was going on. Pointing at the television, my father said to me, "Look at that fielder, when the ball is with him nobody dares run." I was barely nine years old and I watched, filled with awe. Later, I found out that the player's name was Jonty Rhodes. From then on, he became my cricket hero.

Though I began admiring him for his acrobatic fielding, year after year as I grew up I saw and understood what a great person Jonty was. It was not just his unbelievable fielding or his wonderful batting that made him my hero. What I saw in him was the living example of honesty, unselfishness and team spirit, the example of true sportsmanship and humility.

In a society where your childhood role models fade as you grow up, my hero stood like a giant as I tried to gather all his beautiful qualities to my life.

Jonty may not hold the record of the player who has the most number of catches for South Africa. But the ones he caught were never meant to be catches at all. He simply plucked them from nowhere. His batting statistics never reveal those 30-40 odd runs which were scored from 15-25 balls that saved many matches. His brilliant running between wickets that kept the scoreboard moving and the magnificent run-outs that sent many star batsmen back to the dressing rooms will forever be remembered.

Most of all, among "Mr. Know Alls" and players who wanted to win at any cost, his great spirit of sportsmanship and the humble heart that never accepted the deserving title of "World's Best Fielder" will always hold a very special place in the history of cricket.

Nobody will be able to fill your space. But a hero never retires.

Adieu Jonty! May God bless you and keep you close to His heart guiding your steps for the rest of your life.
- C. Priyangwada Perera

Give our children a chance
School years, especially the primary and junior levels are the most important in any child's life. They are the formative years when children do not feel inhibited to try out things. It is during this period that they discover their special talents by testing their aptitude for singing, dancing, speech, etc. If encouraged in the right way, they can grow up to be confident children, excel in whatever they try their hand at and contribute in a major way to society. For them to do so, all they require is a chance.

Most teachers deny children this chance. They keep selecting the same talented ones who very often take private lessons from them after school hours. The fair, pretty ones, children of foreigners and the rich and influential are most often given priority. Do the teachers select them in the hope of receiving some kind of reward? What about all the others who desperately need the opportunity, those who love to sing or dance and are waiting to be asked?
- Concerned parent

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