OBSERVER-MOBITEL contest has given schoolboy cricketers all
Ignatius Anandappa former Test umpire and the Administrative
secretary of the Proffessional Cricket umpire’s Association.
Pic: Susantha Wijegunasekera
CRICKET: There are many cricket contests by various establishments
and much emphasis is laid on school cricket. The schoolboy cricketers
who undoubtedly are the future Test players for the country, and having
hit the top, they are on the brink of getting selected to the national
When we start from Ranjan Madugalle who won the Observer Schoolboy
Cricketer Contest twice and last year’s winner Dinesh Chandimal during
the last three decades, we have seen many players emerging in between.
Among them are three Test captains, namely Ranjan Madugalle, Arjuna
Ranatunga and Marvan Atapattu.
Madugalle - the ICC Chief Match Referee and Atapattu the present Sri
Lanka batting coach.
Besides cricketers, there are Test players who have gone beyond the
playing field who have become Test umpires like Kumara Dharmasena and
Roshan Mahanama _ a respected Match Referee, like Madugalle. Mahanama
and Madugalle were contemporary players and both captained the country.
Madugalle captained both Test and ODI’s while Mahanama led the country
in the Australasia Cup in Sharjah. The Observer-Mobitel contest have
given the cricketers all the encouragement Ignatius Anandappa, a former
Test umpire who stood in 9 Test matches and 27 ODI’s and has 46 years
experience as an umpire, had the privilege in participating in the
contest right from the beginning.
He said that the competition was a wonderful one and whoever is
selected for coveted the award, has always represented the country at
the highest level. He further said that the sponsors are playing a great
role in boosting the young school going players. This type of contest
will no doubt make the youngster to set up a target to win the ultimate
‘big award’ after performing well, rather than just playing for his
school. So the competition is a great motivator and the pinnacle of a
schoolboy cricketer’s career.
Sometime back winners were confined only to Colombo and the suburbs,
but now it is encouraging that it has spread to the outstations as well.
It is a good sign Anandappa added.