David Heyn was born on June 26, 1945, in Colombo. A former Sri Lankan cricketer played 18 unofficial tests from 1966 to 1976. The left-handed batsman also played in two ODI’s for Sri Lanka in the 1975 World Cup. Peter David Heyn is widely regarded as one of the best cover-point fielders.
In the winter of 1966–67, Michael Tissera brought a Ceylon team to Pakistan on a tour that included three representative matches. As a team from Ceylon was making a tour of this country after a lapse of 17 years, many new faces could be seen all over the grounds wherever the Ceylonese took the field. So, he should be one of the people to watch out for during the coming World Cup.
But where many others, like Tissera, Tennekoon, Jayasinghe, Crozier, Fernando, etc., impressed with their performances with the bat and the ball, there was a fair-complexioned, short Asif Iqbal-like figure who generally filled the eye, usually patrolling the covers. This is, but a quiet young man frequently whizzed across, picked up fast-moving balls from the ground in nine cases out of ten, and shot them into the keeper’s gloves all in one rhythmic movement.
This young man, then merely 21, was David Heyn, a superb fielder of a class that any country would be proud of! Heyn is shortly to embark on his first tour of England with the Sri Lankan team, where he will be participating in the inaugural World Prudential Cup. Actually, this will be the first time that his country is taking part in a tournament where it will have a chance to play against the top sides in the World Cup, along with Australia, the West Indies, and Pakistan having been placed in Sri Lanka’s group!
So, it’s a great chance for Heyn, whose natural belligerence and attacking approach to cricket suit the needs and designs of one-day top-class cricket. Heyn at his best is a dashing left-handed batsman who relishes playing his strokes, especially after one or two wickets have fallen; he can operate with the new ball, sometimes quite effectively, sending down right-arm seam stuff, and as a fielder, his abilities are already quite well-known.
Davo will be 30 soon after the World Cup 1975 is over, and he has come a long way since he played for Colombo Schools against the Indian Schools as a 19-year-old. The same year, he was selected to represent the President’s XI against Imtiaz Ahmed’s 1964 Pakistan ‘A’ side. His rise from school cricket to representative cricket was remarkable. Very few school prodigies in Sri Lanka have really made it to the top, and many have faded out as soon as they were ushered into big-time cricket. Heyn is one of the very few who have gotten it made.
Visualizing a Sri Lanka team without Heyn is usually like playing Hamlet without the Prince of Denmark. Heyn is first a superb batsman, and then a really brilliant one at that. His left-handed strokes, among which he is extremely fond of a merciless on-drive, show a highly developed sense of maturity, and, unlike others, he does not take unwanted risks.
But he treats bowlers with a sweet sort of contempt and is always on the lookout for the odd loose ball. His unbeaten 101 on his debut in the 1967 Annual Gopalan Trophy match between Sri Lanka and the Indian state of Madras (now Tamil Nadu) This inning has been considered one of the most polished and aggressive ever played at the Chepauk Stadium in Madras.
His other prominent innings have been 104 for the Ceylon President’s XI against Andhra Pradesh in 1971 and 102 against Madras in 1969. In 1966-67 against the West Indians, led by the great Garry Sobers, he compiled a solid 67, which greatly helped Sri Lanka reach a total of 400.
Clive Lloyd’s West Indians saw David Heyn inning when he blew 55 off them in the opening three-day game at Colombo. Heyn’s father, Major General B. R. Heyn, who managed the 1973-74 Sri Lanka side to Pakistan, has also represented Ceylon in top-grade cricket, and perhaps Heyn inherits his enthusiasm for the game from his father. A product of St. Peter’s College, Colombo, he played for junior school teams for about seven years before graduating to the first eleven in 1961, and then he was made the captain in 1964.
In Sri Lanka, where only school and club cricket is the most organized, he was provided the opportunity to excel as a cricketer with the Burgher Recreation Club and then, later on, for the Nondescript, whom he switched over to in 1970 and still plays for. Last season, he topped the tour’s first-class batting averages in Pakistan with 395 runs at 49.37 and made proper amends for a disappointing 1966–67 tour.
He did not score any century on the eight-match trip but was greatly consistent, and his knock of 70 against Pakistan at Lahore was a scintillating treat to watch. His batting has gone from one position of strength to another, and just two winters ago, he slashed his highest score in Sri Lanka’s club cricket with 133 for the Nondescript against a strong Nomads C.C. attack. David Heyn usually has quite a soft-spoken and dignified personality.
David Heyn is almost a chain smoker, though a very amiable person to know. He is employed as an executive at a mercantile firm. For relaxation, he always goes in for a game of snooker and takes his love for all-around sports further ahead when he turns out to play an occasional game of hockey or to take a kick at a football.
In 1976, when Pakistan toured Sri Lanka, David Heyn helped his team register a 22-run victory with his useful 44 runs in a 40-over match. In the second 40th over of the match, he made 12 runs in his last inning when Wasim Bari caught off Asif Masood’s bowling. Sri Lanka won the match by two wickets in the presence of 25,000 spectators on January 29, 1976.
Overall, David Heyn played 50 first-class matches and scored 2,625 runs at an average of 35.95 with a top score of 136, including 4 hundred, 15 fifties, 26 catches, and 18 wickets at 35.61, with the best bowling of 4 for 52. In 8 List-A matches, he scored 182 runs at 26.00 with the best of 62*, including one fifty and three catches.