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spell as the secretary of Ragama CC, a first-class cricket club in Sri Lanka, enabled him to relate a hitherto unpublished, firsthand account of the country’s chaotic latter-day cricket administration.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 has also shared the rich life-lessons learnt and skills acquired, from the game's many alluring features, emphasising that cricket is a greater story than told by any scorecard.
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 and others around the world.
“Winds Behind The Willows provides a genuine, independent, real-life view into the world of Sri Lankan cricket. It’s a fascinating and thought-provoking book that has clearly been written with a lot of love for the game.” Kumar Sangakkara
“A rare memoir of a die-hard cricket fan who has watched no less than six World Cup finals. It’s a book that brings forth real-life cricketing adventures. Very readable.” Sunil Gavaskar -
“A fabulous book for any cricket lover, be s/he the veteran or the greenhorn, maybe the Lord sipping lager at Lord’s or the tuk tuk driver from Chittagong. Undoubtedly, they will all enjoy this magnum opus that comes to us from a cricket lover of a rare distinction.” Capt Elmo Jayawardena
“There aren’t many fans who have watched six World Cup finals. A fascinating narrative of real-life cricketing episodes.” Ramiz Raja
“A fantastic book from a genuine Sri Lankan cricket lover. Ranjan’s passion for the game rings out loud and clear as he provides insight into how Sri Lanka’s cricket has evolved in the past few decades.” Mahela Jayawardena
“This is the remarkable odyssey of a genuine cricket fan who has presented the reader with a ringside picture of Sri Lankan cricket in the context of the evolution of the international game.” Muttiah Muralidaran
“Ranjan Mellawa is not just a cricket fan, he is a cricket fanatic, or else he could not describe matches watched by him as he has done. Winds Behind The Willows is a work of love, most interesting and highly recommended reading for the cricket enthusiast.” Michael Tissera
Next to cricket, in a career spanning twenty-five years as a banker, Ranjan Mellawa held senior positions at both commercial and merchant banking institutions in Sri Lanka. Winds Behind The Willows is his first book.
The book was launched on 21 April 2017 at the BMICH.