The bilateral series between India and South Africa has been dedicated to Nelson Mandela. The country's first Black president died in Johannesburg on Thursday night at the age of 95. India lost by 141 runs the first of the three ODIs at the Wanderers on Thursday. The series features three ODIs and two Test matches.
Rubbishing rumours that the series was being called off as a mark of respect to Mandela, CSA on Friday paid tribute to the country's founding president. "As part of the greater South African family of former president Nelson Mandela, CSA expresses its sincere condolences to the family of Madiba, to the nation and the world," said CSA president Chris Nenzani, adding: "CSA dedicates the current series against the Indian team to the memory of Mandela."Â (Mandela had an influence on me: Tiger Woods)
"The sporting world will remember him for his tireless efforts at uniting the various sporting codes in order to create a proud and united South African sporting front. CSA joins people all over the world in wishing the Mandela family peace and comfort during this difficult time," Nenzani said. (Read: ICC's tribute to Nelson Mandela)
Mandela's love for sport and his appreciation of what it could do to unify the country is legendary. He was a keen amateur boxer in his youth but he loved all sporting codes across the board and in it he saw the foundations for a healthy future for all the youth of the country. "Nothing assuredly gave him greater pleasure than being part of the team that brought the FIFA World Cup to South Africa in 2010 and seeing what a wonderful celebration of sport, comradeship and humanity the tournament was," the CSA chief said. (Read: What legendary boxer Muhammad Ali learnt from Mandela)
Mandela, speaking on the occasion of the International Fair Play awards, Pretoria, on June 25, 1997, said: "Who could doubt that sport is a crucial window for the propagation of fair play and justice? After all, fair play is a value that is essential to sport...Reconstruction and reconciliation, nation-building and development must go hand in hand. In this process sport is a great force for unity and reconciliation." (Mandela was my hero: Pele)