'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
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
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