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Roshan Mahanama from Test player to International Match Referee

CRICKET: Twice Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer (1983-1984) Roshan Mahanama aired his views on the contest saying that it is a remarkable one that gives due recognition to the deserving cricketer for the future. Mahanama aired his views on the Sunday Observer – Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the year 2012.


 Former Observer Schoolboy Cricketer Roshan Mahanama

Besides Mahanama, Arjuna Ranatunga won the contest in 1980 and 1982 while Thilan Samaraweera, too won it on two consecutive years in 1994/’95. All these players went on to gain representative honours.

It has been happening time and again each year where we see young aspiring schoolboy cricketers emerging from the contest and going up to the extent of representing the country at the highest level. The Outstation schoolboys too will be recognised and it is a great inspiration for them.

It is no doubt the the event is a much looked forward to one at the end of the school cricket season where the cricketers doing well their performances are recognised and rewarded.

Mahanama had a great cricket season while at Nalanda College, along with his brother Devaka. Both were prolific scorers at school. Devaka gave up playing serious cricket, but Roshan continued representing Bloomfield C&AC and went on to win his Test ‘cap’ in 1986 against Pakistan at the CCC grounds. Imran Khan was the Pakistan captain and Duleep Mendis led Sri Lanka. Mahanama had a prolific school cricket season and became the Schoolboy Cricketer of the year in consecutive years. (‘83-’84) where he also won the Best Batsman and Best Fielder’s awards on both occasions. Besides his batting, Mahanama excelled as a world class fielder at any position which gave him a big advantage to be an automatic choice in the Test and ODI sides. He was a member of the 1996 World Cup winning team under Arjuna Ranatunga.

Mahanama had the ability to bat at any position, and did it very effectively during the 1996 WC. While Sanath Jayasuriya and Romesh Kaluvitharana got off the ‘blocks’ with flyers, Mahanama, Ranatunga and Dharmasena also previous winners of the contest, were always there to stabilize the batting in case of emergency.

Roshan Mahanama’s playing career took him to 52 Test matches and produced 2,576 runs (4 centuries and 11 fifties) with a highest score of 225 against India. He made an indelible mark in his career when he and Sanath Jayasuriya added 576 runs for the second wicket in that Test match at the R. Premadasa Stadium, Khettarama. Jayasuriya’s contribution was a triple century.

Mahanama has played in 213 ODIs and has 5,162 runs against his name with a top score of 119. In the ODIs Mahanama has struck four centuries and 35 half centuries.

The 46-year-old Mahanama, is a Match Referee appointed by the ICC and enjoys his role very much, he is very much in the game although he retired in 1998 after playing at Centurion Park in Test.

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