Sunday Observer Online


News Bar »

News: Festive season: Govt thwarts move to increase food prices ...           Political: I wish that JVP is undivided ...          Finanacial News: Adverse weather hits salterns ...          Sports: Sri Lanka’s batting star Thilan won Observer top Schoolboy award in 1994 and 1995 ...

DateLine Sunday, 13 April 2008





Marriage Proposals
Government Gazette

Sri Lanka’s batting star Thilan won Observer top Schoolboy award in 1994 and 1995

CRICKET: Thilan Thushara Samaraweera who became the tenth Anandian to represent Sri Lanka in Test cricket, was twice winner of the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year award in 1994 and 1995 and on both occasions, he also won the Best Batsman and Best All-rounder awards too.

A batting star in Sri Lanka team.... Thilan Samaraweera - the Ananda College batting star who crowned himself with glory, being picked Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1994 and 1995 acknowledges the cheers of the spectators to a fine knock.

Thilan has carried his early promise as a outstanding cricketer to higher levels and is presently in the West Indies representing Sri Lanka against the Windies in Tests and one-day internationals. He has appeared in his 40th and 41st Tests against the West Indies. He stroked a fluent 54 in the First Test and followed it up with a fine knock of 125 in the Second Test, which, however, ended with a Windies victory.

Born on September 22nd in 1976, Thilan took a liking for the game of cricket from his young days and his devotion to the game brought him rich rewards.

It was a success story all the way from his early days at Ananda and he never looked back and his perseverance brought him rich rewards which brought him his place in the Sri Lanka team in 2001.

At Ananda, Thilan had a number of successes. He captained the under 14 team and went on to lead the under 16 team too with distinction. His talent as a cricketer was spotted by a familiar name in cricket, Anuruddha Polonnowita who has served the country well in cricket and then as coach too, Polonnowita’s name ranks high on the list. Thilan was fortunate that he had the guidance of Polonnowita and this pair worked well.

Ananda cricket has flourished by leaps and bounds today and no Sri Lanka cricket team is complete without an Anandian in it. Writing from memory of the Anandians who won Test caps were (all coached by Anuruddha Polonnowita) World Cup winning captain and Observer award winner in 1980 and 1982 Arjuna Ranatunga, Ajith de Silva, Sidath Wettimuny, Charith Senanayake, Dhamikka Ranatunga, Sanjeewa Ranatunga Observer award winner in 1989, Brendon Kuruppu, Chandika Hathurusinghe, Thilan Samaraweera, Dulip Samaraweera brother of Thilan, former Sri Lanka skipper Marvan Atapattu, the Observer Award winner in 1990, Avishaka Gunawardena, Dinuk Hettiarachchi.

Prolific scorer

Thilan was prolific scorer in 1994-1995 school cricket season. He topped 1,000 run mark in both years with five centuries and equal number of half centuries. Thilan actually started his career as an off-spinner. He captured 72 wickets in the 1994 season and claimed 64 wickets in the 1995 school cricket season.

Thilan’s contribution has been of great significance for the progress of the Anandians in the years he was playing for them. His success enabled him to go places in his school cricket career.

Once his school days were over, he came into the club scene automatically. He was a regular player for he champion Sinhalese Sports Club in the BCCSL conducted cricket tournaments. He has played several valuable innings for the side.

Thilan made three centuries recently for the SSC. He celebrated his selection to the Tests in the West Indies with a typically workmanlike 184. Together with Thilina Kandamby, Thilan figured in a double century partnership, putting on 248 for the fourth wicket to guide SSC to the top in the Premier League Tournament against Colts CC.

Permanent place

Samaraweera with his recent fine performances, has gained a permanent place in the team for his solid right handed batting, but he is also a capable off-spinner. He started his career as an off-spinner, but he couldn’t find a way into the side due to the presence of Muttiah Muralitharan. He managed a handful of ODI games in 1998, but didn’t play Test cricket until August 2001.

Having worked on his batting considerably, he got his reward by scoring a century on debut against a strong Indian side, helping Sri Lanka to win the series 2-1. Thilan, at his best is a stubborn and talented player, sure in defence and also equipped with several attractive stokes. He has monumental patience and an unperturbed temperament few will forget. His century against India at the SSC grounds in 2001, will bear ample testimony.

He continued to occupy the stage with another three centuries in his next five Tests all on his home ground, the SSC. This stunning start to international cricket cemented his place in the middle order, a spot which had ‘holes’ to fill with the retirements of Aravinda de Silva and Hashan Tillakeratne.

After a somewhat poor Test Series in England in which he failed to reach double figures in any of his four innings, he was dropped from the side. He was made captain of Sri Lanka ‘A’ team before earning a recall for the first Test against Australia in Brisbane. He scored 13 and 20 and was promptly dropped when Kumar Sangakkara returned to the side for the second game in Hobart. This was followed by his non-inclusion in the squad to play England in the first Test in Kandy.

Thilan is one player who never gives up without a fight. He fought his way back to the Sri Lanka Test side with fine batting form in the Premier League Cricket Tournament for SSC and earned a place to tour West Indies where he batted with great courage and determination to score a valuable half century and century in the two Test matches.

41 Tests

Thilan has played 41 Test matches and has scored 2,268 runs at an average of 42.78. He has notched six centuries and fifteen half centuries in Test cricket.

His highest score is 142 against India. As a bowler, he has delivered 1,285 balls and claimed 14 wickets, best figures 4 for 99 against Bangladesh. Thilan has held 30 catches.

He has played in 17 ODIs and has scored 199 runs, captured 10 wickets. Top score in one-day games is 33 and best figures 3 for 34 has taken three catches.

Speaking about the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer Contests, Thilan said that he gained much enthusiasm from the contests and the other schoolboys too have gained much.

Thilan also said that cricketers from lesser known schools like Ginigathhena MV, Poramadulla MV both from Nuwara Eliya District, Kularatne MV, Ambalangoda, Revatha MV, Matara and Ananda Maithriya College, Balangoda to name a few, are now playing competitive cricket due to the interest shown in the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contest sponsored by Mobitel.

He said that about 90 per cent of Sri Lanka cricket team have won awards in this contest. Thilan further said that the game of cricket is not confined to the popular schools, the game has spread throughout Sri Lanka.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

| News | Editorial | Financial | Features | Political | Security | Spectrum | Impact | Sports | World | Plus | Magazine | Junior | Letters | Obituaries |


Produced by Lake House Copyright © 2007 The Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd.

Comments and suggestions to : Web Editor