Former cricketer Aubrey Kuruppu dies at 74
Former Thomian, Saracens and University cricketer Aubrey Kuruppu died suddenly in Kandy at the age of 74 yesterday.
Kuruppu collapsed at the Royal Maul Restaurant where he goes for his daily cup of tea. He was rushed to the Kandy General Hospital where he was pronounced dead. A post mortem will be held today and his final rites will be decided soon after.
Born in Dehiwela on March 11, 1945 Aubrey was a complete cricketer, coach, cricket writer, administrator, an umpire, match referee and an internationally reputed cricket commentator.
He started his schooling at Holy Family Convent, Dehiwela and later at S. Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. That’s where his brilliant academic career began. He had the proud distinction of representing S. Thomas’ College cricket team and obtained the Blue, Black and Blue college colours. For a Thomian cricketer, this is the highest achievement. He played in the 86th Royal-Thomian cricket encounter under S. B. Seneviratne in 1965. His contemporaries were B.D. Reid, G. Balasingham, Anura Tennekoon, S. B. Seneviratne, S. Rajapaksa, Mevan Pieris , J. Rockwood, P. Serasinghe, C.L. de Silva and O. Weerasinghe.
Aubrey also played for the University cricket team with distinction. After passing out, he functioned as the co-ordinator, English Language Unit, and University of Peradeniya. He had a very distinguished career as a Division I player and had the proud distinction of playing against Sunil Gavaskar for the Sri Lanka Board President’s team vs Tamil Nadu in 1972 in the Gopalan Trophy match. He toured Lucknow, India with the State Services team in 1972 and also played for Central Province, State Services teams and led Saracens Sports Club in Division I cricket and Kandy District and Central Province teams in various tournaments.
Aubrey was also a fine cricket administrator. He was the secretary of the Kandy District Cricket Association and was a member of the tour organizing committee of the Sri Lanka Cricket Board for five years. He coached Vidyartha College and Sri Rahula College and one of his products was Asela Gunaratne who went onto play for Sri Lanka in all three formats.
Aubrey’s father was Cyril Kuruppu and mother Linda Wijesinghe. He had a brother Russell who was also a graduate of the University of Ceylon, Peradeniya and four sisters Lynne, Mona, Zulciaka, Christine.