Sunday Observer Online


Sunday, 6 May 2012





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Observer-Mobitel Cricket Contest will further strengthen cricketers ability


The foundation laid by talented schoolboy cricketers will be further consolidated by conducting contests like the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year as these contests will give the necessary confidence for the player to go up the ladder of success. These sentiments were expressed by wicket-keeper Romesh Kaluvitharana who won the Best Fielder’s prize at the 1987 contest there Josephian Rohan Weerakkody became the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year.

Romesh Kaluvitharana who won the Best Fielder Prize in the 1987 Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contest receiving his award.

Romesh Kaluvitharana’s name was synonymous with Sanath Jayasuriya who played a big part in Sri Lanka’s World Cup win in 1996. Kaluvitharana made his Test debut against Australia in 1992 in Sri Lanka and scored an amazing hundred (132 n.o ) on his debut against Allan Border’s team which included players like Mark Taylor, David Boon, Tom Moody, Dean Jones, Mark Waugh, Greg Mathews, Craig McDermott and Shane Warne to name a few.

Bobby Simpson the Australian Team Manager described ‘Kalu’s’ innings as one of the best that he has seen.

In that Test, Kaluvitharana batting at number 7 as the wicket keeper of the side struck a 158-ball unbeaten 132 which included 26 fours. Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga (127) and Asanka Gurusinha (137) who had also won the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year title on previous occasions, were the other two centurions.

Kalu was best known for his heroics with his opening partner Sanath Jayasuriya who kept the local and foreign spectators spellbound with their sparkling batting displays.

The 42-year-old diminutive right hander, despite his small stature, did not hesitate to hook when balls were pitched short and always adopted the method of attack is the best form of defence.

He said that the contest has done a great job in encouraging players. “This contest will give some sort of hope for the emerging players and a lot to look forward to. The contest is no doubt a memorable one which paves the way for the youngster. The umpires who are in the selection committee should also be commended for their part played during the selection of the players. The umpires who have seen the players in action are the best to judge a player. They have done a tremendous job while taking into consideration the number of top players who have emerged,” said Kaluvitharana.

‘Little Kalu’ as he is affectionately referred to by popular commentator Tony Greig, has played 49 Test matches and 189 ODI’s. He made his debut in 1992 against Australia at SSC and played his last Test match against Pakistan in Karachi 2004. He is presently the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team coach. He has scored 1,933 Test runs and 3,711 ODI runs.



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