Chaturanga Kumara got a raw deal
Sunday Observer – Mobitel Cricket Contest .... Talking about
all-rounders these days, Josephian Chaturanga Kumara who won the Best
All-rounders prize (All-Island) at the 32nd Sunday Observer/Mobitel
Schoolboy Cricketer of The Year 2010 Contest could be considered as a
good bet for the future.
Chaturanga Kumara, attended Sri Jayawardenapura MV (SJMV) at the
early stages, was spotted as a promising youngster and joined St.
Joseph’s where he performed well as an all rounder. He impressed
everyone with the bat and ball, that made himself eligible for selection
for the under 19 national team pool to tour England. But unfortunately,
Kumara was not in the final squad for the tour for reasons only known to
the SLSCA selection committee during that time. Many knowledgeable
critics felt that Kumara should have been in the team. But bad luck !
and that’s how things move on.
The tall right-handed batsman Kumara, could fit into any position in
a batting line-up, but one could expect the best from him when he bats
at number four, a position where a batsman could stabilise an Innings.
He has come to the rescue of the Joes on many occasions and have scored
four centuries and five half centuries in his 985 runs in the season.
His 68 ‘scalps’ while bowling is impressive as his batting.
He has been having many five-wicket hauls,( 7 times) but his best
analysis came against Ananda, capturing 5 wickets in the first Innings
and six in the second Innings. Chaturanga has the ability to bowl his
medium pacers for long spells accurately which is a hall mark of an
In addition to his bowling and batting, Kumara is also a fine fielder
who can field in any position. In a Josephian-Peterite ‘Big Match’, he
took many catches close to the wicket and in the deep field. His
memorable moment on the cricket field was when he took four important
wickets in the 2008 Josephian-Peterite match and helped the Joes to win
their all important Big Match after 35 years!
Kumara learnt his rudiments of cricket as a 13-year-old lad at Sri
Jayawardenepura MV, Kotte. Even at that time he was a good batsman and
scoring a century was nothing new to him.
While captaining the under 13 side at the Kotte school , he struck a
fine 159 against Wesley and followed it up with another unbeaten 199
against Asoka Vidyalaya.
Since joining St. Joseph’s in 2004, Chaturanga Kumara has been a
regular member of the Josephian team of all age groups during the
Inter-School cricket tournaments.
At club level, after joining Colts CC, Chaturanga had stiff
competition against top level Sri Lankan Club and Test players which
made him stronger. He was selected to represent a franchise in the Sri
Lanka Premier League (SLPL).
He is presently on a tour of Singapore with the Sri Lanka Under 23
team playing in the Asian Under 23 Development Cup Tournament, featuring
the best of under 23 players in the Asian region which includes, India,
Pakistan and Bangladesh. Chaturanga Kumara said that the day he was
selected as the Best Allrounder (All Island) at the 32nd Schoolboy
Cricketer of The Year Contest in 2010, he was absolutely delighted to
receive the award as he was picked amidst a collection of top
all-rounders from other schools.
He believes that this contest has paved the way for many youngsters
to continue with the game and finally go for national honours. The
contest has been a big boost, not only for the cricketers from the big
schools, but for the institutions in the outstation as well.
We have seen a lot of school cricketers emerging from far away places
and making their mark in the national team. “I am sure there will be
more and more players pouring into the main system with the introduction
of the third category ‘silver’ in the future. The Sunday Observer and
Mobitel are playing a big role in promoting the game and players for the
future in a big way,” said Chaturanga Kumara.