De Villiers pays tribute to Madiba

The Proteas skipper says Nelson Mandela has played a significant role in improving the game.

FILE:The Proteas’ AB de Villiers and Hashim Amla during a press conference at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg on 18 March, 2013. Picture: Marc Lewis/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Proteas captain AB de Villiers says it's hard to put into words how much Nelson Mandela meant to him and the country.

He was speaking ahead of the second One-Day International (ODI) game between the Proteas and India.

The visitors won the toss and put South Africa in to bat.

The Proteas thrashed the number one ODI side in the world by 141 runs at the Wanderers in Johannesburg the first ODI on Thursday, the same day the former president died.

Speaking on SuperSport, de Villiers said Madiba was always closely aligned with sport.

"He's obviously been a very visible character with the Proteas team and with every sporting team in South Africa. He meant so much to all the sporting codes. We wear this black armband today in respect of the big man."

De Villiers is the latest sports personality to pay tribute to Mandela for recognising the role of sport in uniting the country.

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