Cricket guru Ranil Abeynaike dies

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Ranil Abeyenake seen here in October 2008 near Toronto, Canada preparing for live commentary during a T20 tournament. (File Picture by Mahesh Abeyewardene)

Ranil Abeynaike seen here in October 2008 near Toronto, Canada preparing for live commentary during a T20 tournament. (File Picture by Mahesh Abeyewardene)

The international broadcast of match eight of the Commonwealth Bank Tri-Nation Series between Sri Lanka and India in Adelaide, Australia was suddenly interrupted by commentator Ian Chappell who announced, “We have devastating news from Sri Lanka”. His colleague Ranil Abeynaike had passed away in the early morning hours in Colombo. As news quickly spread, the Sri Lankan team wore black arm bands as they took the field in the second innings of the match.

Ranil Abeynaike was a familiar figure on televised cricket matches around the world. He was an authority on playing surfaces and his pitch reports were regards among the best.  Abeynaike leaves a legacy that has touched almost every facet of cricket. He was the captain of St Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia in 1973, curator of the SSC and commentator for live international matches.