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Sunday, 28 July 2013





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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 way.



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