Former Ananda captain Ruwan Perera no more, leaves behind a legacy | Sunday Observer

Former Ananda captain Ruwan Perera no more, leaves behind a legacy

26 September, 2021

The Ananda College cricket team of 1976: Seated from left: Saliya Witharana, Thilan Wijesinghe, Priyal Perera (Vice-Captain), Ruwan Perera (Captain), Sidath Wettamuny, Kushil Gunasekara, Gihan Karunaratne. Standing from left: Saman Kohomange, Dhammika Perera, Anura de Silva, Keerthiraj Perera, Lalith Hewavitharane, Mahendra Samararatne, Prasanna Amarasinghe, Senaka Ekanayake, Hemakantha Ekanayake, Kolitha Nilaweera. Absentees: Prasanna Karunathileke, Tilak de Silva

Former Ananda College cricket captain Ruwan Perera passed away last month and will be remembered by both team-mates and rivals for the gritty centuries he scored against top teams.

Ruwan was known to many as the flamboyant cricketer who lived next to Salgado Bakery in Maradana. He captained junior and first-eleven cricket teams of Ananda College in the 70s and the first team of the Burger Recreation Club in the 80s.

Some who played with and against him still speak of the gritty centuries he scored against top teams. Others who befriended him later in life think that he had a good entrepreneurial knack.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ruwan Perera

He identified a niche in the market based primarily on his instincts and desire to be independent and developed a business he enjoyed leading. He was never shy to seek knowledge or advise from anyone to improve that business.

Socially, he entertained friends with his tales of adventure that amaze some of us to this day. However, behind the macho persona, Ruwan was more than a cricketer, adventurer and businessman. He was a compassionate, respectful and grateful human being. He never hesitated to pull out his wallet to help someone in need.

In recent years, his hobby was reading the newspapers from front to back. He was well informed on matters ranging from economics to sports and enjoyed discussing any topic, but politics.

He had the memory of an elephant. On my last visit to his house in April 2021, I was accompanied by two friends, one of whom Ruwan had not seen for nearly three decades.

With a few leading hints, Ruwan recognized this friend and went on to relate details about him that he himself faintly recalled.

Ruwan was not one to brag about his cricketing career or unjustifiably criticize and blame others. Some paths he followed and choices he made may not have taken him to the places he wished to be in. But, up to the time of his passing, he had a positive outlook and never looked back. That, I believe, helped him traverse the many peaks and valleys in his life’s journey.

Be that as it may, I am sure that most people will consider themselves lucky to have either met Ruwan or had him as a friend.

Prianka Nalin Seneviratne

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