Casiechetty and Abeynaike were classy sportsmen
We record with sadness the passing away of two outstanding cricketers
in Benedictine Neville Casiechetty and Thomian Ranil Abeynaike, although
they excelled in different eras.
Short and stocky Neville had two other brothers Francis and Freddie,
who all shone at cricket for St.Benedict’s College. But Neville was the
A right-hand hard hitting batsman in the mould of a West Indian, he
could pulverize any bowling attack with his quick footwork, superb
timing, grace and power.
Neville showed his prowess with the bat in the early and mid fifties.
He learnt his cricket, like did most Bens by first playing softball
cricket at the St.Lucia’s Cathedral Square.
From there he graduated to the first team at St. Benedict’s , and
what a batsman he turned out to be. He was the quintissential batsman
that spectators yearned to see. And he seldom let them down.
He played in L.P.Rayen’s team that emerged unofficial schools cricket
champions in 1957 and then went on to lead the Bens in 1958.
He was picked to tour Malaysia with the Board President’s XI and in
one game missed a century scoring 99.
In addition to his cricket he was a wonderful dribbler in football.
Several were the goals he scored for the school that helped them win
games and become champions. He captained the team in 1958.
He later helped clubs such as Cambridge Sports Club and Kotahena
Rangers go places in the football scene. The likes of Neville will not
be seen for a long time.
The passing away of former Thomian Captain and Sinhalese Sports Club
cricketer Ranil Abeynaike came as a shock to the cricketers, the
officials and those who knew him here and in Australia.
Ranil was a fine allrounder and a classy genteleman. He batted and
bowled left handed and after a successful stint for the school by the
sea, he played for SSC with great success and the national cap was not
long in coming.
He helped the Maharaja Organization win many a trophy in Mercantile
cricket and also toured India with the Maharaja team for Quadi Azam
Trophy which team also included Gehan Mendis.
After his playing days were over, he moved to Australia where he
learnt the art of preparing wickets and served as a curator at the SSC.
He also excelled as an international cricket commentator for many TV
channels. He recently completed 25 years of cricket commentating.
His expert commentaries will be missed at the Royal-Thomian big match
When St. Benedict’s College redid their ground it was Ranil who
relaid the turf wickets.
May the souls of Neville and Ranil rest in peace.
Wake up call to ICC
The incident that took place at the Gabba in Brisbane during the Sri
Lanka-India Commonwealth Bank Tri-series game where Ravichandran Ashwin,
the Indian off spinner did a ‘Mankad’ in attempting to dismiss Sri
Lanka’s Lahiru Thirimanne, requires reflection if only to learn lessons
Ashwin knocked off the bails as he came into bowl in the 40th over
and appealed – with non striker Thirimanne well out of the crease.
Umpires Billy Bowden and Paul Reiffel conferred with Indian acting
captain Virender Sehwag.
But the appeal was suddenly withdrawn when Sachin Tendulkar walked
over to the umpires and captain and said something, probably asking
Sehwag to withdraw the appeal.
Point to ponder
Now the point to ponder here is – why did not the umpires give their
verdict when the appeal was made? ‘Out’ or ‘not out’, should have been
They need not have consulted Sehwag. Obviously Ashwin did what was in
the laws of the game. To everyone it was obvious that Thirianne was
infringing and playing unfair by leaving the crease before the ball was
A batsman is expected to run the full length of the pitch and not
yards less in scampering a run. Thirimanne was infringing repeatedly and
Ashwin irritated by the unfair play of the batsman, whipped off the
bails in his delivery stride with the batsman yards out of crease. And
Ashwin was dead right!
Remember the incident where former Australian Captain Greg Chappell;
got his younger brother Trevor to bowl an underarm delivery in a one-day
game against New Zealand which nearly prompted a war between the two
countries? The Chappells were unfairly rapped. The umpire in that
incident did right in allowing Trevor to bowl an underarm delivery
because it was in laws of the game. Subsequently the International
Cricket Council did away with that rule, saying that, that action
although it was a law was, not in the spirit of the game. Similarly the
action that Ashwin took in attempting to run out the batsman is in the
law. But if its not in the spirit of the game, then ICC must get rid of
the rule. Obviously again the ICC has been caught napping.
Sake of the game
When the game was played in the good old days, where it was played
for the game’s sake, warning the batsman, beore resorting to running him
out was appreciated and applauded.
But today where winning at any cost is the only thing that seems to
count, the spirit of the game has gone with the wind. Money is what
seems to count!
Look at the reverse or the switch hit as they call it. The
bowler sets the field according to the batsman being a right hander
or a left hander. But the batsman turns around and plays the switch hit
or the reverse sweep.
The reverse sweep or the switch hit has come in for criticism from
the knowledgeable. But the ICC does not seem to care a damn. The sooner
they act, it will be for the good of the players and the game.
Now isn’t this unfair by the bowler, and is it in the spirit of the
game? The ICC or its Cricket Committee without only looking to make the
mega bucks, must be alive to these shortcomings in the game and put them
right. They must not let the players and the umpires be held to