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Government Gazette

‘Ranil Abeynaike, a great man’

It is with deep regret, that I pen these few lines on my good friend, Internationally reputed cricket commentator par excellence Ranil Abeynaike, who passed away on Tuesday, February 21, 2012 at the age of 57, from a heart attack.

Ranil was a complete cricketer. He hailed from a cricketing family. His father late Orville Ageynaike played for S Thomas College, Mount Lavinia in 1941. Ranil played three years from 1971-1973 for the school by the sea - captaining in 1973. He was a fine all-round cricketer and a superb left-arm leg-spinner.

The Abeynaike and S Thomas College, Mount Lavinia are inseperable. Both father and son were left-arm leg-spinners. Another unique record is that, that both father and son coached this great school, after representing the college.

Ranil commenced playing for college under 12, at the age of 9. Captained under 14, 16 and attained the highest-honour of captain S Thomas. In the Royal-Thomian which is considered as the Pinnacle of all schools Big Matches, as the skipper, he had a Match-Bag of 6 for 108.

After leaving school, Ranil represented SSC with distinction, later played for Sri Lanka. He excelled as a fine all-rounder playing Professional Cricket in England and Australia. He under went cricket coaching courses successfully and learn the art of preparing, Turf wickets.

He served as a curator of SSC and in recognition of his services to cricket, he was appointed and served few years as a Selector and an Interim Committee member.

His contribution to cricket as a commentator was enormous. His command of the English language, his delivery and the dull set voice was excellent. His all-round knowledge on cricket made him a legendary commentator of International repute. I had the good fortune of sitting next to him as a commentator in number of school matches and international encounters.

The last commentatory, two of us did was the World Cup 2011, played in Sri Lanka and India. In fact, two of us were roommates in India. As an International commentator he showed his class and was on par with world class cricket commentators like Tony Greig, Sir Ian Botham, Michael Holding, Ravi Shastri, Sanjaya Manjekar, Ian and Greg Chappels, Boycott to able a few. He also gave updates in Sinhala too and they were knowledgeable and accepted well by the listeners. He had a fine command in Sinhala language too.

He is a kind hearted, a man of compassion. Ranil was a good conversationalist. He is a well disciplined God fearing gentleman of the highest order. Cricket was his life.

Ranil Abeynaike's demise was not only a great loss to his family members, but an irreparable loss to the cricket community of this country.

In concluding I quote
When the great scorer comes
To write against your name
He writes not that you won or lost
But How you Played the Game!
Ranil, you always played a straight bat, and you always played
The game, like a Gentleman we miss you.

Good Night Sweet Prince!
May you Rest in Peace!

 

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