Colombo, 21st August 2017
My dear Ranjan
Just finished reading your book ‘Winds Behind the Willows’.
I am no fan of cricket except when Aunty Sita pushed me into watching TV whenever Sri Lanka was playing. She was a devoted fan – who would shut the TV down when Sri Lanka is doomed to lose. She would also watch the international finals so long as the Australians were not winning; from their lip movements, she said that they were very crude in the swear words.
I know very little of the game of cricket as I hardly ever played it after a cussed boy hit me on the forehead with a leather ball I was facing. I was then 15 years. I thereafter took to tennis, badminton, table tennis, swimming & rowing.
Reading your book over several weeks, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The finer points of batting and bowling techniques of different players, I could not, quite understandably, comprehend. I was quite taken up with your knowledge on these matters and continue to wonder how you carried in your mind all the details in a particular match. Statistics you have accessed, but these?
Your easy style and very good English fascinated me. I especially enjoyed reading of the ‘happenings’ and beauty of the country when not in the cricket stadium but getting about the host country. You have visited a vast number of countries and cricket stadia. This would have cost you a lot. So has the production of the book, as you explained to me. You did not cut corners; you have authored may I say an outstanding book. Of course, there will be the critics as that is their living.
It was an eye-opener for me to read of the politics in the cricket administration. You made it very clear to me. Your comments on the broadcasters, TV commentators, advertisers should be taken up by them seriously and changes made as suggested by you. You have highlighted the FANS. Very good. They deserve a better deal than your experience displayed.
You have been very fair with your constant cricket bachelor buddy, who is obviously equally mad about the game – Jagath, and Champa, Christine and even Dilantha (!)
I missed sending this as a letter to you before you left today for Bangkok. I wish you to enjoy a very large readership and more editions to follow.
God Bless you, Champa and son.
(A Chartered Accountant by profession, octogenarian Dominic Seneviratne is still an avid reader. During a long and illustrious career, he held senior positions both in blue-chip corporates and public-sector organisations.)