From a doyen of medicine to a doyen of batting artistry
As far as I know Ravindra Fernando (Now professor of Forensic Medicine and Toxicology at the University of Colombo) at Ananda College was a pure academic. What amazes me most is how, in between his devoted medical life, he has found sufficient time to produce 16 books.
The last one he wrote happens to be more on sports – devoted to the Lankan batting magnate Mahadevan Sathasivam who operated in Sri Lanka’s pre-Test era in a career which ran from the mid thirties to the mid sixties.
Chapter one of the book is devoted to the history of the game in general and even I was fortunate to pick up some points from the very informative text which he no doubt burnt the midnight oil writing.Then tackling the cricketing life of Sathasivam, beginning from the age of six, the professor takes us through a narration that winds through the player’s cricketing skills and exploits beyond the boundary line.
The ball does not stop there. In a very readable style and language, Professor Fernando takes us through the entire life of the late batting doyen with no stone left unturned letting out all his trials and tribulations. I like the part where the professor has let Sathasivam explain his feelings towards the game. “The sound of cricket bats bashing leather balls is perhaps the first sound that I can remember. Similarly the sight of flannelled men hurling the ball and flashing the bat is another unforgettable facet of life that sticks firmly in my mind. It would be true to say, therefore, that I was born into the world of cricket and of cricketers.”
This book is published by Vijitha Yapa Publications and printed at RS Printek (Pvt) Ltd Sri Lanka. I feel it is a must in any cricket enthusiast’s library. -SRP
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