Winds Behind the Willows: A Sri Lankan's Life in Love with Cricket
A fascinating account of an extraordinary, five-decade journey across exotic lands in eleven countries; Ranjan Mellawa's Winds Behind The Willows is unlike any other cricket book.
Inspired by a fully cassocked priest playing cricket in the church green, he began as a humble and passionate village cricketer.
Years later, he was blessed with the good fortune to be present at virtually all epic moments in Sri Lanka cricket, including six World Cup finals.
The story encompasses interesting off-field anecdotes and mini-dramas, some involving famous cricketers, and entices the reader to join the author's sojourns, beyond live cricket score on the card. Mellawa's spell as the secretary of Ragama CC, a first-class cricket club in Sri Lanka, enabled him to relate a hitherto unpublished, firsthand account of the country's chaotic latter-day cricket administration.
It follows an insight into the island nation's pre-Test cricket days.
He also recalls opportunities he created for talented young cricketers, to reach the pinnacle.Not stopping at sharing the rich life skills developed and lessons learnt from the game's many alluring features, the author offers some useful suggestions from a fan's perspective on; * revitalising the game,* adding value to enhance experiential fandom and* treating fans with greater respect and dignity. The story also harks on the role played by Mellawa's 'cricket widow' wife amid his struggles for a balanced work-life, with cricket as an ever-present backdrop. In his Foreword, former Sri Lanka player and ICC Match Referee, Roshan Mahanama describes the book as 'a reader's delight, which will have pride of place in my cricket library and says that he 'wouldn't be surprised if it does become a bestseller.' Having woven a rich tapestry of first-hand experiences, the book has earned itself endorsements from legends of the game around the world, emphasising that cricket itself is a greater story than told by any scorecard.