Keeshan Gamage of Vidyartha - Most
Popular Schoolboy Cricketer (Outstation):
Royalist Ramith Rambukwella, Observer-Mobitel Most
Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2011
By Ranjan ANANDAPPA
OBSERVER-MOBITEL SCHOOLBOY CRICKETER: The twenty
week long Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of Year 2011 contest
has reached its zenith and has manifested an avalanche of votes
(over a million). This is the largest amount of votes received and
it has surpassed all the previous years.
Ramith Rambukwella of Royal Colelge, Colombo won the
Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year -
All-Island contest with 248,702 votes.
Keeshan Gamage - Vidyartha Colelge, Kandy - the Most Popular Outsation
Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year. Received 112,872 votes.
Royal College captain Ramith Rambukwella the
ultimate winner of the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year
2011 (All-Island) received 248,702 votes and the second and third
place competitors Sachitra Perera (Ananda) and Bhanuka Rajapakse
(Royal) also came close to the 200,000 vote mark - Perera got
199,235 votes in coming second and Rajapakse got 197,474 votes in
The run for the top places in the All-Island Contest
and the Outstation category has also been by a Panadura Royalist
Dushan Vimukthi, closely challenged by Vidyartha’s Keeshan Gamage
who finally emerged winner in the Outstation segment with 112,872
votes 2,390 votes, more than Dushan Vimukthi who polled in 110,482
to win the second place.
The unsurpassed interest shown by the schoolboys and
all the others who have shown keen interest in running the
inter-school matches should be duly commended, and in the end, the
winners of the annual Observer/Mobitel Cricket Show will get a
tremendous boost for their future endeavours in representing the
country at the highest level. The competition has provided the right
platform for many cricketers who have reached the ultimate goal of
representing the country.
The 2009 winner of the contest Dinesh Chandimal
first represented the country at the World T20 Championship held in
the West Indies last year, soon after he was crowned as the
Schoolboy Cricketer 2009. The former Ananda College cricketer is the
latest addition to the distinguished schoolboy cricketer list, who
within the space of two years has reached the required standard of
being on the verge of representing the country at Test level if
selected for the first cricket Test against England next Thursday .
The competition this year has been a right Royal battle, the two
Colombo Royalists Ramith Rambukwella and Bhanuka Rajapakse and the
Panadura Royalist Dushan Vimukthi have been in the contest from the
first coupon published this year. They have always been among the
top three at some time or other and the support rendered to these
players have been excellent by the cricket loving public.
Sachithra Perera of Ananda Colelge, Colombo became the
runner-up in the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the
Year - All-Island with 199,235 votes.
Dushan Vimukthi of Royal, Panadura - the runner-up in
the Outstation Schoolboy Cricketer 2011.
Ramith Rambukwella, a sturdy lad who represented the
Sri Lanka Under-19 team on the tour of England led by colleague
Bhanuka Rajapakse. These two players need to be watched for the
future. Rambukwella although missing a good part of the school
cricket season due to his commitment with the Sri Lanka Under-19
team, fared well in the fewer number of school matches. On the other
hand, Bhanuka Rajapakse who became the Schoolboy Cricketer of the
Year last year (2010), did not live upto expectations during the
school cricket season, but fared very impressively against the
England Under-19 team as an all-rounder. Besides taking wickets, he
struck two centuries.
Gamage forges ahead
Winning an award in a show of this nature is
something of a new experience for the Most Popular Schoolboy
Cricketer Outstation Keeshan Gamage. Dushan Vimukthi who is placed
runner-up won the prize for the Best Bowler Outstation last year.
Vimukthi, playing for the fifth year for his school is, another
balanced all-rounder who is the captain of Royal College, Panadura.
Winner of the Outstation competition Keeshan Gamage
of Vidyartha College, Kandy entered the contest later and has given
a monies worth run to Vimukthi by taking the Outstation Most Popular
Schoolboy Cricketer award. He too, is a budding all-rounder, and a
player who has excelled for his school in all three departments of
This year too, there has been some sterling
performances with bat and ball. Besides Rambukwella’s efforts, two
more players Sachitra Perera (Ananda) completed the school cricket
season taking over 100 wickets. He was extremely unlucky not be
selected for the Under-19 England tour and the subsequent tour of
England to the Island early in the year. Dananjaya de Silva of
Richmond College, Galle, is another player who represented the
country at youth level and fared exceptionally well. So, the
foursome of Rambukwella, Rajapakse, Dananjaya de Silva and Sachitra
Perera are undoubtedly the future players for the country and this
was quite evident from the voting pattern in this popular contest.