Sri Lanka news February 21, 2012

Commentator Ranil Abeynaike dies

Ranil Abeynaike, the Sri Lankan commentator and former first-class cricketer, has died in hospital in Colombo after a heart attack. He was 57.

Abeynaike played 14 first-class matches and six List A games for Bedfordshire and Sinhalese Sports Club between 1973 and 1990. He was better known for his work as a television commentator, though, and completed 25 years in the profession during the second Test between Sri Lanka and West Indies at the Premadasa Stadium in November 2010.

A left-arm spinner from St Thomas' College, Mount Lavinia, whom he captained in 1973, Abeynaike was also a qualified cricket coach and curator. He played for Sri Lanka in the unofficial Test against Tony Greig's MCC side in 1977 and played minor county cricket in England. He returned to Sri Lanka to play matches for the Sri Lanka Board President's XI against West Indies (1979) and Australia (1983).

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