Makhaya Ntini today received a letter of personal congratulation, on his 100th Test appearance, from former South Africa president Nelson Mandela.
Ntini, who this morning marked the occasion with the early wicket of England captain Andrew Strauss at Centurion, was commended by Mandela for the example he has set for millions of his compatriots.
The letter reads: "Hearty congratulations as you play your 100th cricket Test.
"What you have achieved goes beyond the number of matches you played; you have demonstrated, especially to the youth of our country, that everyone can rise above their circumstances and achieve success if they are dedicated to and passionate about what they do.
"We are proud of you!"
Ntini, who received the letter shortly before he went out to field on day three of the first Test, was moved by the correspondence.
But he said: "I don't want to get too emotional as I go out to play."