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Sunday, 12 February 2012

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Voting for Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer begins :

Mother of All Shows

The Sunday Observer continues to maintain its rich traditions as it celebrated its 84th anniversary last week. Sri Lanka’s first ever award show for schoolboy cricketers, which has produced many champion Sri Lanka cricketers, is back in true spirit of the game to continue its role in fostering school cricket.

It is with pride and honour that we announce the launch of the 34th Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2012 event, with the most popular contests as usual. The proud principal sponsor of the Mega Show will be Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, Sri Lanka’s national mobile communication network.

This is the fifth successive year that Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel sponsors the show, at a time the company is heading towards new horizons under the dynamic leadership of SLT and Mobitel Chairman Nimal Welgama and the new SLT Mobitel CEO Lalith Silva.

We are happy to see that more and more schools cricket awards shows emerging, following that great initiative of Sri Lanka’s flagship English Newspaper – the Sunday Observer , way back in 1979.


Ranjan Madugalle

We inaugurated the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest at a time when there wasn’t a single awards ceremony to recognise the talents of schoolboy cricketers.

Neither the school cricket governing body nor the national governing body for cricket (then BCCSL), had a program to reward outstanding schoolboy cricketers then. There were no inter-school tournaments for first X1 cricket then.

But 34 years ago, the Sunday Observer , as the country’s undisputed English newspaper since 1928, understood the need to recognise talents of budding schoolboy cricketers who could step into Sri Lanka national teams and become international stars. Our initiative has produced fruitful results as the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer has been producing some of the top cricketers whom Sri Lanka has produced in international cricket.

It was the then Royal College captain Ranjan Madugalle who was adjudged Observer Schoolboy Cricketer in 1979. That inspired Madugalle to go places, captaining NCC in club cricket, leading Sri Lanka national team with distinction and currently to hold the top post in international cricket as the Chief ICC Match Referee.

Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga had the honour of winning the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year title twice – in 1980 and 1982.

Over the past three-and-a-half-decades, the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest has gone from strength to strength, producing some of the best Sri Lanka cricketers – Asanka Gurusinha, Roshan Mahanama, Muttiah Muralitharan, Kumara Dharmasena, Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya and Thilan Samaraweera, to name a few. Dinesh Chandimal and Bhanuka Rajapaksa, who are showing good form as budding Sri Lanka cricketers, too have entered the big league after their ‘graduation’ as Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketers.

The success and immense popularity of the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest has persuaded some to follow our great initiative and conduct schoolboy cricketer awards shows but none of them would ever be able to emulate the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest which continues to maintain its rich traditions.

On the other hand, we are delighted and honoured to see more school cricket award shows emerging because that eventually meets our initial goal. We are happy to see others following the Sunday Observer footsteps as its country’s budding schoolboy cricketers who would ultimately benefit from all these shows.

Hence, the Mother of all Shows – the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest continues for the 34th time, breaking new grounds and a talent search for tomorrow’s cricketing heroes.

You could now vote for your favourite cricketer from any school under the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year – All-Island and Outstation contests. Voting coupons will be published in the Sunday Observer , Daily News , Dinamina and Thinakaran , commencing from today.

However, the Sunday Observer readers will enjoy an added bonus as coupons published in the Sunday Observer will be entitled to three votes while coupons published in the Daily News , Dinamina and Thinakaran will carry one vote each.

Readers who will vote for their favourite schoolboy cricketers stand a chance of winning three cash awards – Rs. 2,500/-, Rs. 1,500/- and Rs. 1,000/- every week. While voting for the outstanding cricketers of their almamater, the readers will stand a chance of winning cash awards worth thousands of rupees and also some gift items from SLT Mobitel.

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