‘The good die young’ and so did Suren

Published : 12:02 am  June 23, 2018 | No comments so far |  |  (129) reads | 

Suren Perera, a former Peterite cricketer passed away on May 8, 2018. Suren played a few matches for the 1st Eleven Team for St. Peter’s College. He was best remembered for the brilliant 73 runs that he scored against Royal College in the under 16 final in 1977.   

 

St Peter’s college – 1977 – winners under 16 

 

 

Just a short recollection of the events at this match. St. Peters College had already played Royal College in a 1st round match and won by 1 wicket in a very tightly fought encounter between the two schools. In this match, Suren was injured (broken tooth) as a result of a bouncer bowled by Sudath Pasqual (Former Sri Lankan Cricketer, Sudath represented Sri Lanka whilst in school in the 
1979 World Cup).   


 Pasqual was fast, menacing and very deadly on a matting wicket, as youngsters just learning to play the game, we were not equipped to face the rising ball aimed at our throat and head. One should bear in mind in the 70’s there was no helmets to protect you against the rising ball, as such many feared to face Pasqual, we were no exception and in the same boat. Pasupathi the other opening fast bowler was equally fast, menacing and deadly, so there was no escape from the other end either, it is said the best way to face good fast bowling is to bat at the non-striker’s end, but with Pasupathi operating from the other end this was also a dream.   

 

 Suren was a stylish, an elegant batsman who played some glorious drives, but unfortunately never lived up to his potential that was shown in his younger days


 St. Peters College had to play Royal College in the under 16 final in year 1977. St. Peters College won the toss and elected to bat and was progressing well at 117/1 when there was a minor collapse. The undersigned had got out hooking a bouncer of Sudath Pasqual. Pasqual in cricketing parlance was full of confidence and bowling menacingly.  


 As I was walking back to the pavilion, Suren walked into bat, and whilst crossing each other Suren inquired from me, ‘If Pasqual was bowling fast.’ I realized that there was no point asking Suren to defend particularly considering what had transpired in our 1st encounter with Royal College, as such I told Suren, ‘Just go for your shots, do not worry if you get out.’  


 As I mentioned Pasqual was with his tail up and the first ball to Suren was a bouncer, which he ducked but with his bat up in the air, the ball hit the bat and flew over the slips 
for a boundary.


 Thereafter what followed next was sensational, as Suren probably took my advice and decided that attack was the best form of defense and took on Pasqual and the Royal attack. The spectators at the ground were treated to an exhibition of counter attacking batting whilst the Royal attack was literally taken to the cleaners.   

 

Suren took it up on himself to counter attack Pasqual and the Royal attack and trashed them to all parts of the ground.  Suren played a brilliant innings, that was filled with strokes all around the wickets

 


 Suren took it up on himself to counter attack Pasqual and the Royal attack and trashed them to all parts of the ground.  Suren played a brilliant innings, that was filled with strokes all around the wickets. Suren hooked, pulled, cut and drove brilliantly and ended up scoring 73 runs in 
70 minutes.    


 If my memory serves me right when I got out, the score board read as 145/4, St. Peters College ended up being bowled out for 254 runs. After Suren came to the wicket, St. Peters College added another 109 runs of which Suren accounted for 73. This innings helped St. Peter’s College to win the Under 16 Championship in 1977. The Royal team consisted of eminent cricketers such as Sudath Pasqual and Sumithra Warnakulasuriya, both of whom went on to represent Sri Lanka, in addition there was Gihan Sonnadara, Rohan Jurampathy and K Pasupathi to name a few.     Suren was a stylish, an elegant batsman who played some glorious drives, but unfortunately never lived up to his potential that was shown in his younger days. It may have been because St. Peters cricket in this period, was blessed with an abundance of talent, so probably the lack of opportunity deprived Suren of showing his true potential. As a human being Suren was always with a smile and a true friend, an unassuming lovable character loved by everybody that crossed his path.   


 On a personal note, I met Suren one day when my wife and kids were in Sri Lanka on holiday from Australia. Suren being the lovable hospitable character said, ‘Why don’t you bring your family for lunch to the Parliament and be my guests.’ Suren served at the Parliament of Sri Lanka for 34 years and held the position of Director Catering & Housekeeping at the time of his demise. My family & I accepted the invitation, as it is very seldom that one would get an opportunity to have lunch in the parliament. We had a lovely time together. It is heart breaking to think that my dear friend, Suren is no more, as it is said ‘The good die young,’ I guess this 
saying is true.   


My dear friend and cricketing buddy, may the turf lie softly and may your soul rest in peace until we meet again.   
Niranjan Rodrigo