Observer -Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year
Sanjeeva - second to win top award from same family
CRICKET: Sanjeeva Ranatunga became the second to win the Schoolboy
Cricketer of the Year Contest from the same family in 1988. Previously
his elder brother Arjuna Ranatunga who captained the World Cup winning
side in 1996 was crowned as Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in the year
1980 and 1982 and made an indelible mark in the annals of Sri Lanka
Sanjeeva Ranatunga - Schoolboy
Cricketer of the Year 1988
Like the famous Mohamed brothers in Pakistan Hanif, Mushtaq, Sadiq
and Wazir, and the siblings of other countries who have hit the top in
International Cricket the Ranatunga brothers Dammika, Arjuna and
Sanjeeva - all were members of the Lankan Test teams. Dammika Ranatunga
the eldest brother of Arjuna and Sanjeeva, played Test cricket under
Arjuna. The other Ranatunga, Nishantha too, played under Arjuna in a
solitary one day international in Sharjah.
Sanjeeva after his school career, joined his brother's club SSC and
was groomed to be a Test cricketer. Sanjeeva Ranatunga, although lacked
the flamboyancy like his brother Arjuna, was a steady and a stylish
left-hander who had played 13 Test matches and over 45 ODIs during an
era where a fewer number of Tests were played.
Sanjeeva Ranatunga said that the competition is a unique one and
based on merit as a good percentage of the winners too were not only in
Colombo, but those in the outstation town too have won awards. It is no
doubt a much look forward event during the school cricket season for the
players and the family as well. He also pointed out the steady growth of
young talent in the rural areas and the SLSCA officials should not
neglect that area.
"The year I became the Schoolboy Cricketer All Island, Sanath
Jayasuriya won the Best Schoolboy Cricketer Outstation and what a
journey Sanath had been having thereafter".
The contest is certain to identify the talent and the high
performances of the players who launch their forward march towards the
International arena. Sanjeeva Ranatunga made his Test debut along with
Chaminda Vaas and Ravindra Pushpakumara against Pakistan. Although Vaas
and Pushpakumara did not win awards at a show of this nature both proved
to be outstanding Test cricketers.
Sponsors play a big role for the survival of any kind of show , and
whoever the sponsors are, they should be applauded for the encouragement
given to the schoolboys.
The sponsors also feel that their money invested for a worthwhile
cause is not wasted. Because almost every year the show produces an
outstanding cricketer as we have seen along with the other talented
players in other categories.
A good example is Dinesh Chandimal won the contest in 2009 and was
included in the Sri Lanka team for the T20 World Cup that was held in
the West Indies a few weeks later and two years after that, he made a
strong claim to enter the national side and toured England this year. He
wished all the success for the partnership between Sunday Observer and
Mobitel for many more shows.