Dinesh Chandimal joins Ananda bandwagon as captain of Sri Lanka
The Sunday Observer/Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of The
Year Contest 2013 is a much looked forward to event and since winning
the contest in 2009, the former Dharmasoka College and Ananda College
cricketer Dinesh Chandimal just took four years to lead his country in
an international cricket contest when he was selected to lead Sri Lanka
against South Africa in the first two limited overs games due to the
absence of regular skipper Angelo Mathews.
Chandimal, by leading the side to victory in the two ODI’s ,
displayed great promise for the future as a captain and also became the
youngest Sri Lankan captain and the seventh Anandian to win the award.
Prior to Chandimal, Arjuna Ranatunga was the youngest captain at 24
years to lead his country. Ranatunga also won the coveted Schoolboy
Cricketer Award in the years 1980 and 1982.
In Ananda bandwagon
Thereafter Sanjeeva Ranatunga (1988), Marvan Atapattu (1990), Thilan
Samaraweera (1994 and 1995), Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (1999) and
Malith Gunatileka (2007) were the other proud recipients from Ananda
College to win the prestigious award. With the exception of Malith
Gunatileka, the two Ranatunga brothers Arjuna and Sanjeeva, Atapattu,
Samaraweera, played Test cricket while Muthumudalige Pushpakumara was in
a Sri Lankan Test squad on a tour to Pakistan and played in an ODI.
Chandimal captained the under 19 National Team and was quick to get
off the ‘blocks’ by scoring a fine century for the Board President’s XI
against a touring New Zealand Test Team in a three day warm up game at
the NCC grounds.
Dinesh Chandimal showed great potential at junior level (U.13 and
under 16) at his former school Dharmasoka, College, Ambalangoda and
continued his promising career even after shifting to Ananda College in
2005. He did not look back. At Ananda, he captained the under 17 team
successfully and led the 1st XI school team in 2008/ 2009. That year he
was also appointed as the Sri Lanka under 19 captain.
Chandimal, talking about the Sunday Observer/Mobitel Cricket Show
said that he owes much gratitude to the show which lasted for so many
years, and seen the cream of schoolboy cricketers coming through it. It
has been great encouragement for the winners in all three categories.
Now there are more openings for the village lad who wants to pursue his
future as a cricketer as the contest has spread almost into every nook
and corner of the country. I wish that the contest to continue for many
years to come, Chandimal added.
Chandimal set a new record as a wicketkeeper against an Australian
schoolboy team, having eight victims. He has struck two centuries to
prove his class against two competitive schools teams from India (143)
and England (112 and 65) in a three-day game. The year 2009, Chandimal
had a memorable year winning 12 matches for the season with a solitary
loss to Royal College, Colombo.
Playing for the under 16 at Dharmasoka College, Ambalangoda Chandimal
fared prominently playing in the southern Province schools cricket team
in the inter- district tournament.
Taking into account his performances as a batsman, and wicket-
keeper, he quickly found his way to Colombo, where he represented Ananda
College in 2005, and did not look back thereafter. Chandimal made his
Test debut against South Africa in Durban on 26th December 2011 and has
played seven Test matches and scored 583 runs with a top score of 116.
He made his ODI début against Zimbabwe in Bulawayo in 2010 and has
played 63 ODI ‘s and scored 1,496 runs with a century too coming his