A complete cricketer of the old school type bids adieu – The Sunday Times Sri Lanka

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The sudden passing away of Aubrey Kuruppu (Date of Birth 11-3-1945, Date of Death 12-10-2019) aged 74 years was, no doubt, a shock to most cricket aficionados. Educated at S.Thomas’ College Mt. Lavinia, where he won his ‘colours’ in 1965, he can easily be described as a complete cricketer: player, coach, writer, administrator, lecturer, Match Referee, and an umpire to boot.

At the time of his demise, he was a senior journalist and a sub editor of the Sunday Times Sports Desk, having contributed for nearly two decades. How many others could have had such multitude of claims?

As an academician he graduated from the Peradeniya University (English and Latin as his major subjects) and being a brilliant student it was no surprise that he was immediately appointed to the English Department as a lecturer. That was not all, he represented the University cricket team, and as the Co-ordinator, English Language Unit, he was also appointed senior sub-warden of a Hall of Residence.

As a cricketer, not only did he play for the Division 1 team but also represented the Combined University team, the Sri Lanka Board President’s XI versus Tamil Nadu in 1972, and toured the State Services team in the same year as well. In 1973, he played for the Central Province XI against Mike Denness England side, at Asgiriya.

Aubrey went on to captain Saracens Sports Club in the P.Sara Trophy cricket tournament and also led the Kandy District and Central Province teams.

Naturally, with his cricketing background, Aubrey took over the reins as Secretary of the Kandy District Cricket Association, and went on to become the President of the Central Province Cricket Umpires’ Association and functioned as a Match Referee for the Cricket Board. He coached Rahula College, Katugastota and Vidyartha College in Kandy.

Latterly he was an important cog of the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year programme conducted by Wijeya Newspapers Ltd, in collaboration with Bata Shoe Company and presently with Dialog Axiata PLC, as a member of the Selection Panel. He knew who, what and how these young players performed by name and always openly commended and gave due recognition to those who performed well.

With all of the above accomplishments, Aubrey remained a simple, unassuming personality, a typical cricketer of the old school type.

May the turf lie gently over him.

The remains of Aubrey Kuruppu will be brought down to his Colombo residence at 19/10, High Level Road, Kirulapone, from Kandy on Sunday (October 13). Cremation will take place at Borella Cemetery tomorrow (Monday, October 14) at 4.00pm.      

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