Courtesy of The Island, 12 June 2015
In the picture is Sri Lanka’s renowned cheerleader Percy Abeysekera (on right) who met South Africa’s Jonty Rhodes at the R. Premadasa Stadium recently when the latter was here for a short coaching stint with the Sri Lanka National team. At this meeting the legendary player, world famous for his fielding abilities, remembered how he once misfielded a ball during an international match before Percy picked it up away from the boundary line in fine style falling over, even with his National flag in one hand. Then Jonty had commented quickly: ‘Percy, you are a better fielder than me’.
Percy’s Encounter with Ian Botham
In a similar incident, Percy got hold of the ball that was missed by England’s legendary Sir Ian Botham at the boundary line in Sri Lanka’s inaugural Test in 1982 in Colombo. On that occasion, Botham had to jump over Percy to avoid collision. An agitated Ian, as Percy recalls, had called him, ‘You baboon’. The two met at a charity walk in Kilinochchi last year and this boundary-line incident has come up in their discussion. Sir Ian had then disagreed with Percy over what he actually said on that day: ‘No Percy, I did not call you BABOON that day … I called you an IDIOT!’ It was quite apparent that Sir Ian had given the always sarcastic Percy a dose of his own medicine.