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Sunday, 21 August 2011

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'An eye-catching contest'

Former Ananda College captain and present Test and ODI player Thilan Samaraweera feels that the zenith of a schoolboy cricketer is winning the Schoolboy Cricketer award or any other prize at this prestigious ceremony held annually with the completion of the school cricket season.


Thilan Samaraweera Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 1994-1995.

There have been a couple of other sponsors who have been involved in the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer show, but whoever the sponsors are, they have done a fine job in promoting the game which has produced a number of top class players.

Samaraweera while at Ananda College, became the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year twice in 1994 and 1995 and richly deserved it because he was a prolific scorer and prominent bowler too.

Thilan Samaraweera along with Nalandian Mahela Jayawardena gave outstanding displays in the 1994-1995 school cricket season and both were in line for the award.

Thilan and Mahelaís performances were so outstanding and the two were selected to tour South Africa to play in a series of matches.

In 1994, Mahela won the Best Batsmanís Award and in the following year Samaraweera was judged the Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year and also won the Best Batsmanís Award.

Now the duo are prominent figures in the Test and ODI arena. Samaraweera played in the 1994- 1996 schools teams and made his Test debut in 2001 against India at the SSC grounds.

He has figured in 66 Test matches and over 40 One-Day Internationals. He scored a double hundred in Pakistan in a Test match (231) which remains as his highest score.

Samaraweera is grateful for the show which gives tremendous encouragement to a youngster. While at school, everyone looks forward for this show, and surely it has been a part of the school cricket season where parents, old boys and well-wishers vote for their favourite cricketer. Like many others Samaraweera, too, doubted whether there could be a show of this nature that gives prominence to school cricketers.

The contest is not only confined to the two main awards of Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year (All Island) and Outstation.

All award winners in this contest are benefitted when it comes to their future. The trophies and certificates could be preserved for the next generation, which will enhance them to follow in their seniors footsteps.

 

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