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Cricketers on their idols

Andy Flower on Nelson Mandela

The wise old patriarch

The South African statesman has all the qualities a great leader needs

ESPNcricinfo staff

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Mandela: commitment, wisdom, compassion © Empics
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The one man who's really impressed me - and I'm sure that goes for a lot of other people too - is Nelson Mandela.

I've read a bit about his life and I find his ability to forgive everything that was done to him and move on an amazing lesson. As a kid I knew about him being in prison, but over the subsequent years when he was released and became such an influence on South Africa and the rest of the world, my admiration for the man increased.

Mandela is truly committed to what he believes in, but it isn't just about that. After all, there are many people who are committed to various causes, whether of the poor or others. For me it is his wisdom and the ability to use his age and experience to accomplish goals that are impressive.

I wish, though, that he had said something about the Zimbabwe situation*: he has been pretty quiet about Robert Mugabe and what's happened in Zimbabwe. That is a disappointment. Still, that hasn't stopped me from following his life.

This interview was conducted in June 2006. Mandela has since then spoken critically about Robert Mugabe.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi. This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo Magazine

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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