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Sunday, 23 December 2012





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OBSERVER-MOBITEL show has unearthed top cricketers - Kaluwitharana

Former Test opener and wicketkeeper Romesh Kaluwitharana says the OBSERVER-MOBITEL competition has helped to maintain a steady influx of top cricketers. This year sees the 35th contest. Looking back during the past three decades the competition has maintained a high level and has also produced many Test captains and cricketers, irrespective of the two categories – All-Island and Outstation.

Romash Kaluwitharana

”I fervently hope that the show will go on for many years”, Kaluwitharana said. Kaluwitharana, once won the Best Fielder’s prize while at St. Sebastian’s College, Moratuwa in the competition amd made a dream debut in Test cricket, striking a memorable unbeaten 132 against the Australians in 1992 led by Allan Border. Arjuna Ranatunga was the Sri Lanka captain then.

Kaluwitharana became the third centurion in that Test with skipper Ranatunga, Asanka Gurusinha also former winners of the contest scoring hundreds.

Former Australian captain and opening batsman Bob Simpson who was the manager of the Australian team, classed Kaluwitharana’s knock as one of the best he has seen. He treated Shane Warne who was playing at the beginning of his career, with scant respect on his way to his unbeaten 132. However, Kaluwitharana who was brought into the side as a wicketkeeper, was unable to impress on his job behind the stumps. He was dropped for the third Test, despite his debut hundred.

However, Kaluwitharana fought his way back into the side in the following 1995/1996 tour of Australia, which happened to be the crucial turning point in his career. It was a new era for Sri Lanka cricket as it was the birth of the Sanath Jayasuriya-Romesh Kaluwitharana opening combination that turned the cricket world topsy - tervy.

The duo utilised the first 15 overs with field restrictions to the maximum to give a tremendous advantage to the side in winning the 1996 World Cup.

This pair laid the sound foundation for the batsmen to follow.... Aravinda de Silva, Asanka Gurusinha, Arjuna Ranatunga, Roshan Mahanama and Hashan Tillekeratne to score.

Kaluwitharana is the present Sri Lanka ‘A’ team coach. In his 49-Test match career, he has scored 1,933 runs which includes three centuries. In his 189 ODI matches, he has 3,711 against his name with a top score of 102 not out.



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