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Sunday, 18 August 2013

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Kithuruwan Vithanage gets two eye catching cricket awards

To win the Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contest not many schoolboy cricketers have been able to do, and to win two top awards have been the prerogative of Former Royal College, all-rounder Kithuruwan Vithanage who was judged as the Best Batsman (All-Island) on merit and was also voted by the readers of the Sunday Observer as the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year, (All-Island) in the year 2010 at the 32nd Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contest.


Kithuruwan Vithanage

Kithuruwan Vithanage had a distinguished cricket career at Royal and showed early signs of becoming an useful all-rounder. As a left-hand batsman, he could change the complexion of a game within the space of a short period of time because of his aggressive style of batting. Kithuruwan’s all-round ability saw him gaining a place in the Sri Lanka Under 19 and Development Squads and his confidence helped him to perform well. His right-arm leg-spin bowling also has proved to be useful. But unfortunately , Kithuruwan has been under bowled or not bowled at all at times in competitive cricket. He is an useful right-arm leg-spinner who could keep the batsmen guessing.

While representing Sri Lanka Under 19 in a home Triangular Series, involving Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Bangladesh, Vithanage helped the side to record a sensational win over Pakistan by scoring a blistering 75 n.o when Sri Lanka were reeling at 98 for 5.

Vithanage, missed several school games for Royal because of his involvement with the country’s Under 19 tours to England, Australia, New Zealand. At home, he won the Best Batsman’s prize that year. Vithanage is a natural hard-hitting stroke batsman who any captain would like to have in his team. He could bat in any position and could ‘keep wickets’ in an emergency.His consistent batting helped him to make his Test debut in March 2013 at the Galle Cricket Stadium. Vithanage, after striking 168 against Bangladesh in a warm-up game, prompted the selectors to include him in the Test squad to play Bangladesh. Vithanage struck an impressive 59 in the 2nd Innings in a Test that ended in a draw.

Kithuruwan Vithanage, commenting on the Schoolboy Cricketer of The Year Contest, said that the sponsors Mobitel and the Sunday Observer are doing a wonderful job in continuously having the show which gives a lot of encouragement for the young schoolboys.

As all of us know, the contest has produced a number of cricketers who have ‘don’ the Sri Lanka cap and it is certain that it will keep on bringing out the best in the future as well. The cricketers from the rural areas too, get the opportunity to come into the limelight and I wish the show to continue for more years to come, Vithanage said.

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