From: Elmo Rodrigopulle from Brisbane, Australia
Sunday, February 19, 2012
It is with profound sadness that I pen these lines on the passing
away of my 1958 cricket captain at St. Benedict’s College Neville
Neville was one, if not the best batsman to represent the green,
white and green school in Kotahena.
Right handed, stylish and a hard hitting right hand batsman, he
played for the school from 1954 to 1958 captaining the school in his
In that era where ever the Bens were in action and Neville playing
crowds would flock in large numbers to watch his daring and master
stroke play. He seldom failed to oblige his admirers.
He is best remembered for his 260 odd against the Sister Colleges
in 1958 in Kotahena. He just mauled the Sister Colleges bowlers
hitting them to every corner of the field and over it as well.
It was a classic knock that is still etched in my memory.
Neville toured Malaysia and was picked to play for the Board
President”s X1 against Peter May’s England side on their way to
Australia for the Ashes. But that game that was to be played at the
SSC was ruined by rain with not a ball being bowled.
Neville also played for the Tamil Union and had a short stint with
the Nondescripts Cricket Club.
In addition to his prowess at cricket, he was also an excellent
centre forward at soccer and captained the College in 1958. Along with
Sampoornam and his brother Nithi Nicholas and Denzil Walles, they had
no equals in the schools soccer teams in that era as centre forwards.
They were products of that coach par excellence Albert Fernando who
churned out champions.
Neville’s brothers, Francis and Freddie also sported College
colours at cricket wit Francis also captaining the team and later
playing for the Tamil Union team which won the Sara Trophy in 1948 if
my memory serves me right.
Those who played under Neville in 1958 were Anslem Ludoyeke,
Ranjit Jayawardena, Lionel Fernando, Lasantha Fernando, Cecil
Waidyaratne, Neville Wickremasinghe, Benjamin Silva. Anton Abeysekera,
Elmo Rodrigopulle, Fritzroy Ponniah, Dougla Faux and Allan Gunesekera.
At that time we had Bro Alban Patrick as Director of SBC and
P.Gananpragasam as Prefect of Games and together there were duo that
took Benedictine cricket to the top in that era.
May the turf that Neville walked like a colossus lie lightly on
him.His funeral takes place today.
He leaves his wife Evonne and son Clyde