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Sunday, 16 December 2012





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Voting for the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year begins next week:

Mother of all shows turns 35

New award structure under Platinum, Gold and Silver Divisions:

What they say...

Ranjan Madugalle:

Former Sri Lanka Test captain and presently the Chief ICC Match Referee and the winner of the contest in 1978 and 1979.

Winning the contest twice consecutively is the best thing that could have happened to me. Playing for Royal had brought me immense joy. The school cricketers should be further motivated and at the same time the outstation schools should not be neglected.

This contest will give all encouragement for the youngsters. He added that winning the competition gave him a lot of satisfaction and spurred him to reach the  top.

Arjuna Ranatunga:

1996 World Cup winning captain and the Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 1980-1982.

It is good to see the Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer contest being conducted for the 35th occasion from 1978 to encourage the promising and talented schoolboy cricketers.

It is good to see the northern province has joined with the others in the competition. It is also heartening to see the schools from the outstation schools playing a prominent role.


Roshan Mahanama:

Former Sri Lanka Test opener, ICC Match Referee and winner of the contest in 1983-1984.

It is great that the contest has identified potential players which is no secret judging by the number of Test and talented players coming through the contest.


Ashantha de Mel:

Former Test opening bowler and current Chairman Selectors.

The contest is a really good one for young aspiring cricketers.

I can remember when I won the best bowler’s award in 1978 when Ranjan Madugalle, my teammate at Royal who won the coveted award, it was a moment to cherish. Every schoolboy looked forward for the contest with lot of enthusiasm. Later players like Arjuna Ranatunga, Marvan Atapattu and Roshan Mahanama too won the award. The contest has done a lot for cricket. I wish all the success while conducting future contests.


Kumara Dharmasena:

Former Test cricketer and presently an Elite Panel Umpire who was named as the Best Umpire of the Year. He is also a winner of the contest.

I congratulate the ANCL and the Sunday Observer for keeping the show going on for all these years. The school cricketers who do well during the season are rewarded.

The contest cater to the very best is reflected in the results and a good number of recipients of the award have represented the country at the highest level.

Sri Lanka’s first ever inter-school cricket award show will celebrate its 35th anniversary in 2013. It is with pride and honour that we announce the launch of the 35th Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest.

In order to mark its three-and-a-half-decade long journey, during which has produced many Sri Lankan cricketing legends such as Arjuna Ranatunga, Ranjan Madugalle, Sidath Wettimuny, Asanka Gurusinha, Roshan Mahanama, Muttiah Muralitharan, Sanath Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu, we have decided to further expand our awards structure.

During the past 34 years, prizes for the most outstanding schoolboy cricketers were awarded under All-Island and Outstation categories. However, in keeping with the Under-19 inter-school cricket tournament structure of the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA), we will award under three different categories – Platinum, Gold and Silver divisions. Schools playing in the Division 1 tournament of the SLSCA Under-19 tournament will be considered for the Platinum Division and only the cricketers playing for those schools will be eligible to be voted for the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2013 Platinum Division.

Similarly, cricketers of the school teams playing in the Division 11 and Division 111 tournaments of the SLSCA Under-19 tournaments will be eligible to be voted for Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2013 Gold Division and Silver Division respectively.

However, the identity of the show will be preserved as we will retain the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2013 national awards which will be purely on merit and all schoolboy cricketers playing in Division 1, 11 and 111 will be considered for these awards under best batsman, best bowler, best all-rounder, best fielder and the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year, who will be selected by a special panel comprising SLSCA officials, Schools national selectors and umpires associations. In addition there will be Platinum, Gold and Silver Division winner for all those awards.

Hence, the mother of all shows has further strengthened its awards structure to further reward and encourage the budding schoolboy cricketers. When the Sunday Observer first embarked on its Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year awards ceremony in 1978/79, there wasn’t a single such event to recognise the talents of the country’s schoolboy cricketers. Even there wasn’t an organised inter-school structure or an under-19 inter-school tournament.

We now see more and more inter-school cricket awards ceremonies, following our footsteps and even counting on the years in which we have conducted awards ceremonies uninterrupted. As the Mother of all Shows, Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year event is happy to see at least two other organisers following in our initiative. We are indeed happy to see those taking place as the ultimate winner of all these contests would be Sri Lanka’s school cricket.

We at the Sunday Observer feel that encouraging the most outstanding schoolboy cricketers at the end of each season is an investment for the future. That would undoubtedly inspire those budding cricketers do ever well and enter the big league.

As Sri Lanka’s cricketing giants such as Ranjan Madugalle and Arjuna Ranatunga have quite rightly described, Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest is the stepping stone for the big league.

This is the platform that would elevate an outstanding schoolboy cricketer from school level to club and national level. Sri Lanka’s flagship English newspaper with the largest circulation would continue to promote schools cricket even on a greater scale and inspire them to become tomorrow’s national stars.

Voting for the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketers Platinum, Gold and Silver Divisions will begin from next week.

Voting coupons will be published in the Sunday Observer, Daily News, Dinamina and Thinakaran from next Sunday. Make sure that you follow the outstanding cricketer of your Alma Mater and vote for them so that it would help them to go places.


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