Roshan Guneratne dies at 43
SRI LANKA lost its third Test cricketer with the passing away of
former leg-spinner Roshan Guneratne in California, USA on Wednesday. He
died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 43.
Gunaratne made his mark as a top class right-arm leg-spinner for
Nalanda College whom he captained in 1982. Leaving school he made his
first-class debut against Greg Chappell's Australians in the lead-up
match to the one-off Test at Asgiriya, Kandy a year later.
Playing for a Board President's XI he took the wickets of Kepler
Wessels and Chappell for 66 runs, a performance that convinced the
selectors to include him in the Test match although there was already an
established leg-spinner in Somachandra de Silva.
With two leg-spinners playing against an Australian batting line up
comprising five left-handers in the top six of the order, Guneratne had
an unhappy experience.
His 17 overs cost him 84 runs without any success as Australia
rattled off a massive 514-4 declared to crush Sri Lanka by an innings.
It was to be his sole Test appearance.
Guneratne went on to represent NCC, Moors SC and Nomads in division I
domestic cricket before leaving for the USA to join his mother and
sister. He remained a bachelor throughout. His funeral takes place in
Sridharan Jeganathan, another leg spinner and all-rounder Anura
Ranasinghe were the other Sri Lankan Test cricketers to die before
The Sri Lanka cricketers wore black armbands as a mark of respect to
Guneratne on the opening day of the second cricket Test against West
Indies at Asgiriya yesterday. - [S.T.]