A leader in the making

Although old enough to be his father - OK, maybe almost his grandfather - my latest inspirational hero is the young Ashton Agar who broke every record in the cricket book, becoming the highest scorer at number 11 in a test side and greatly contributing to the highest last wicket partnership in a sport where statistics are like grains of sand.

But it was not the heroics alone that earned admiration from around the world, but it was the way this young, inexperienced 19 year-old conducted himself on the world stage. Unassuming, unruffled and competent in what is often referred to as the "cauldron of test cricket" and completely efficient in the way he went about scoring his 98 runs.

And then there was the way he accepted his dismissal, heartbreakingly short of what would have been a remarkable test century in his first test appearance. A shrug of the shoulders and an almost reluctant acceptance of rapturous applause of the partisan English crowd. And that boyish grin. For indeed, while still being a boy, he performed in a way that could be a lesson for many an adult.

In a world where humility is not always associated with our youth, Ashton Agar's heroics (as well as his undoubted ability) lead me to hope that this lad is an immediate role model.

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What John Matthew believes about small business

That the owner has risked many things that others take for granted;

That there is no guaranteed income or reward for the considerable effort that is required;

That often, the family home is on the line to support the business and its constituents;

That there is a dignity and self-respect that is earned;

That entire communities would be better places if there was an increased appreciation and respect for small business.

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