SRI LANKAN CRICKETER'S XI NAMES
Sri Lankan cricketer Ranjith Amunugama probably seldom signs autograph books or souvenir bats with his full name. It's Amunugama Rajapakse Rajakaruna Abeykoon Panditha Wasalamudiyanse Ralahamilage Ranjith Krishantha Bandara Amunugama. So he boasts 11 initials - an appropriate number for a member of a cricket XI, but a headache for scorekeepers and newspapers.
In the preface to the 2004 edition of the cricketers' bible, the Wisden Almanack, editor Matthew Engel writes, "With ten initials [11 counting the surname] he has now established a commanding lead over his nearest rival, A. K. T. D. G. L. A. S. de Silva (I won't spell it out, if you don't mind: I'm getting tired) and the leading international player W. P. U. J. C. Vaas.
"This is an area where England used to fancy it could hold its own with any other cricketing country, but such stars of yesteryear as J. W. H. T. Douglas, M. E. J. C. Norman and R. I. H. B. Dyer have long been eclipsed by these ex-colonial upstarts. Only the Essex newcomer A. G. A. M. McCoubrey carries on the tradition - and he's Irish."The full name of a Fijian batsman, Ilikena Lasarusa Bula, usually referred to as I. L. Bula, has been recorded as I. L. Talebulamainavaleniveivakabulaimainakulalakebalau (48 letters). He played in first-class matches from 1947 to 1954, and achieved the highest score in Fijian cricket - 246.
We searched the internet for the reason why so many Sri Lankans (not only cricketers) have such long names. The answer seems to lie in an article written by Mandana Ismail Abeywickrema in the Colombo (Sri Lanka) Sunday Leader:
The complete article makes entertaining reading. You can find it by clicking HERE.