OBSERVER-MOBITEL contest gets spiced up in new
More schools – greater the interest
The voting for the 35th Sunday Observer/Mobitel Most Popular
Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contest 2013 under a new format has been
encouraging as the coupons have begun to pour in.
The formats under ‘platinum’ for schools playing in the division one,
‘gold’ for schools taking part in division 2 and ‘silver’ for the
schools playing in Division III have created more enthusiasm judging by
the number of coupons received.
Kaushalya Weeraratne – Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2000.
For over three decades the contest was held under two categories
namely, All Island and Outstation, but this year the voting pattern has
been changed to break the monotony and the winners will be in three
categories namely, Platinum, Gold and Silver as the Sunday Observer has
already brought to the notice of the readers in previous issues. The
placings of all three categories of the contest will be out in next
weeks Sunday Observer January 27and the senders of the coupons are
kindly requested to write their name and address clearly for the purpose
of selecting the weekly readers prize.
The year 1996 was a significant one for Sri Lanka cricket as they
became the world cricket champions and also saw two new cricket stars
emerging from hill capital - Trinity College, Kandy and excelling during
the season that year. The two stars were none other than the former Test
captain Kumar Sangakkara and Kaushalya Weeraratne. The latter,
Weeraratne went on to win the coveted Sunday Observer Schoolboy
Cricketer of the Year Contest in the year 2000 after representing
Trinity for three years.
The years 1996/1999 were hectic for Kaushalya Weeraratne, in addition
to the heroics in the rugby field, he represented his school at cricket.
His lively medium pace bowling and aggressive batting put him on line
for the selection of the Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year
that year which he eventually won in year 2000.
Kaushalya Weeraratne, the hard-hitting left-hander and a
right-arm-medium-pace bowler, also took away the Best All-Rounder’s and
Best Bowler’s awards that year. He had the distinguished honour of being
a Trinity ‘Lion’ at cricket and a coloursman at rugby. At the ‘Oval’
shape ball game Weeraratne, who is also a top athlete, was a speedy
winger and was a member of Trinity’s 1999 rugby team.
He had a choice either to play rugby, full time or cricket, but he
opted for cricket and had fared well. He has represented the country in
15 ODIs and 5 T20s and his only wish is to play Test cricket for Sri
Lanka. If he had continued with his rugby most probably, he would have
ended up by donning the Sri Lanka jersey at rugby too.
In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer with regard to the
contest, Weeraratne said that there is no doubt that a show of this
nature has inspired him and more talented cricketers in reaching the
top. “It is an accepted fact that a good number of recipients, let it be
all Island or outstation has represented the country at the highest
level. Earlier the schools in the rural areas did not get their due
recognition, but this contest has made them more prominent and as a
result many top players have emerged from that segment of the contest.
Weeraratne is the first Trinitian to win the major school cricket
award. Niroshan Dickwella, another Trinitian, won the contest last year.
Dickwella represented the Sri Lanka under-19 team at the Junior World
Cup cricket competition and is a regular member of the NCC.