‘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
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
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
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!