‘Virat Kohli on fire’ photograph wins Ratnayake MCC award

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake has won the MCC’s runner-up award for his photograph of Virat Kohli warming his hands in fire.

Asanka Brendon Ratnayake

The photographer, who was born (to Sri Lankan parents) and raised in Australia, clicked Kohli during a T20 match between Australia and visiting India at the Melbourne Cricket Ground (MCG) in January last year.

The joint second winner gets a prize of £1,000 and his photograph will appear in the latest edition of Wisden 2017 and it will be displayed at the Lord’s, where visitors will view all year round.

Speaking exclusively to cricketbadger.com on Wednesday, Ratnayake said, “The fire was from a fire machine which was placed at the entrance of the players tunnels as they entered the ground. I did not meet Kohli, I have crossed paths with him quite a bit over the past few years but i have never wanted to get in his way, However I do know he has seen the image as he had posted it on his Instagram page  the day after i took it.

“I have not met him personally but if the opportunity arrives to see him I probably would just let him know that I was the person that took that photo of him, I think he would appreciate that as it is a different photo of him.

“A lot of photos of him are quite serious and this one is not. I have a lot of respect for him as a player and the way he represents a ‘new India’ that doesn’t let anyone push them around. He is a very serious character however this image shows a bit more of a humorous side to him.”

Ratnayake has never been to Mecca of Cricket at Lord’s. “I haven’t been to Lord’s but I am hoping I can fit in a few meeting later in the year in London and if I can do that I will visit Lords most definitely.”
Ratnayake also reacted on the winner’s photo: “Its a beautiful photograph, there is a renaissance art feel to it. I am actually happy that a photo taken outside of the professional realm of cricket won. I much prefer seeing photos of cricket being played in different environments all over the world.”
There were more than 450 entries for this MCC’s 7th year of photo-competition. World’s renowned cricket photographer Patrick Eager was one of the five-member judge panel.
Bipin Dani

Bipin Dani

A Civil Engineer by profession, Bipin is also a senior cricket journalist in India.
He has toured UAE, Sri Lanka, Morocco and Malaysia, to name a few, and contributes to a large number of newspapers in India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
His twitter bio reads: Eat cricket stories, drink cricket stories, sleep cricket stories.
Bipin Dani

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