Dileep Premachandran is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo
There are places I remember all my life, though some have changed, sang the Beatles in the days when one-day cricket was restricted to a Gillette Cup and little else. And I can certainly recall where I was on March 8, 1992. I should have been at home, waiting for a call from my first love, but once a cricket-crazy cousin came round with news that a small video store was pulling down illegal images of the game, there was never any thought of love or other demons.
We scampered over in time for the start of Pakistan's run chase, and there were no prizes for guessing which team had the support of the majority crammed into the poky little room. Having just come back into the international fold, South Africa were suddenly everyone's second team, and a whole generation of young people was trying to field like Jonty Rhodes. The results, if the sprains, cuts and bandages were anything to go by, weren't always favourable.
When it happened, it was time for snacks, and our attention wasn't where it should have been. It was only when we heard a few people swearing out loud that we turned to the screen. The replay told us what we'd missed. For the rest of the afternoon, people talked of little else. Jonty became a hero who transcended continents, and when South Africa played at the Brabourne Stadium a year later, a couple of people I knew went just to watch him. They got their money's worth in the form of five catches, a couple of them stunning.
All these years later, the dressing-room balcony was the first place I turned to when Herschelle Gibbs did a passable imitation of Superman Rhodes. When not a roving ambassador for Standard Bank, Jonty earns his rand by grooming the present generation of South African fielders and in AB de Villiers, Ashwell Prince and the like, he has excellent talent to work with.
Gibbs though has that flair for the dramatic that set Jonty apart. As soon as I saw him run toward the stumps, I edged forward in my seat in anticipation of what might happen. It was stunning to watch and will live long in the memory, but there's nothing quite like the first time. That first love went the way of most others, but whenever I think of Inzamam in super slow-mo and Jonty frozen in mid-air, I can almost kid myself that I'm 18 again. And as John and Paul warbled, I'll never lose affection for people and things that went before, I know I'll often stop and think about them .