From time to time the TV commentators from the western world have stumbled across Sri Lankan names which simply stumped them. This scenario has varied: ranging from bemusement at the number of initials accompanying the name of Vaas to the phonetic obstacle course they have been forced to negotiate.
Yes, Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas is quite a mouthful — even when it is simply WPUJC Vaas. Vaas may have been a unique bowler, but his ‘battery’ of initials is not, as most Sri Lankans know, not unique. Thus in today’s World Cup squad of XV we have, among other,
Narangoda Liyanaarachchilage Thisara Chirantha Perera
Balapuwaduge Manukulasuriya Amith Jeevan Mendis
Hettige Don Rumesh Lahiru Thirimanne
Ranasinghe Arachchige Suranga Lakmal
Herath Mudiyanselage Rangana Keerthi Bandara
Kulasekara Mudiyanselage Dinesh Nuwan Kulasekara
Senanayake Mudiyanselage Sachithra Madhushanka Senanayake
Most commentators wisely skirt the problem. They use the last name or simply one fore name. But even this path is not always simple. Several used to struggle with Ramanāyake; and a few made the mistake of referring to Champuka Ramanāyake rather than Champaka Ramanāyake.
Ramanāyake’s surname consistently bamboozled the doyen of cricket commentary, Ritchie Benaud. For that very reason I had a secret wish those days: I was hoping that one of the regular figures in Lanka’s club scene would break into a party touring Australia. Then we listeners could await the faux pas when Benaud was confronted with Rideegammānagedera of the Galle CC, NCC, Tamil Union and Moors — a rolling stone who gathered moss and was an useful performer on the green fields of island cricket.
To be fair let me cite Anil Rideegammanagedera’s full career statistics
|Full name:||Anil Rideegammanagedera|
|Born:||23rd June 1976, Galle, Sri Lanka|
|Teams:||Galle Cricket Club (Main FC: 1995/96-2012/13); Nondescripts Cricket Club (Main FC: 1997/98-1998/99); Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club (Main FC: 2000/01-2001/02); Moors Sports Club (Main FC: 2004/05-2010/11); Ruhuna (Main FC: 2008/09); Nondescripts Cricket Club (Main ListA: 1997/98-1998/99); Galle Cricket Club (Main ListA: 1999/00-2012/13); Tamil Union Cricket and Athletic Club (Main ListA: 2000/01-2001/02); Moors Sports Club (Main ListA: 2004/05-2010/11); Ruhuna (Main ListA: 2007/08); Moors Sports Club (Main Twenty20: 2005/06-2006/07); Ruhuna (Main Twenty20: 2007/08-2008/09); Sri Lanka Board President’s XI (Other ListA: 1997/98); Sri Lanka A (Other ListA: 1998); All teams|
|Lists of matches and more detailed statistics|
|First-Class Career Batting and Fielding (1995/96-2012/13)|
|First-Class Career Bowling (1995/96-2012/13)|
|List A Career Batting and Fielding (1997/98-2012/13)|
|List A Career Bowling (1997/98-2012/13)|
|Twenty20 Career Batting and Fielding (2005/06-2008/09)|
|Twenty20 Career Bowling (2005/06-2008/09)|