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Kaushal Lokuarachchi - third Peterite to win top Observer-Mobitel Award

Kaushal Lokuarachchi became the third Peterite to win the Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer Award in the year 2001, and he was quickly identified as a potential Sri Lanka player because of his allround capabilities. The Peterites who won the coveted award previously were left-hand batsman Rohan Buultjens in 1981, and Lahiru Peiris who won it twice in 2004 and 2005.


Kaushal Lokuarachchi

Lokuarachchi captained St. Peter's in almost all age groups playing in the SLSCA tournaments and excelled as a strong allrounder who could bat and bowl equally well. His flighted leg spin has brought him a rich harvest of wickets during his school playing days. Continuing his consistency at club level he soon became an important member at his clubs -Bloomfield and NCC and was soon in contention for a place in the national side.

Lokuarachchi made his Test debut in April 2003 against Stephen Fleming's New Zealand team at the R.Premadasa Stadium , Khettarama and played his last Test match in 2004 in Kandy against Australia. In his four Test match career , Lokuarachchi was unable to make much of an impact. During that time with Muralitharan the well establish off spinner, the competition between the other two leg spinners namely Upul Chandana also a top allrounder and a brilliant fielder and Malinga Bandara made Lokuarachchi to fight every inch for a place in the Test side.

After making his ODI debut against Kenya in Sharjah in 2003 , he represented the country in 21 ODI and had scored 725 runs and taken 31 wickets with the best figures of 4 for 44.

While commending the Sunday Observer and Mobitel for keeping the show going for more than three decades, Lokuarachchi said that every school cricketer's dream is to win an award in this contest that gives the strength to continue with the game. This event is a much looked forward to at the end of a school cricket season as the players who have done well are being rewarded. This contest has recognised so many top Test,ODI and Sri Lanka players from the inception and it is certain that it will continue in the future as well.

It is not only the schools in the metropolis that gets the recognition. We have seen top players from far away schools making the mark and winning awards and finally winning national honours.

The selection panel that consist of umpires and some school authorities also play a vital role in selecting the winners on merit. Most of these umpires have officiated in school matches from time to time ,and they are the best judges to asses the most suitable players for the awards.

Although being in and out of the national team, Lokuarachchi is very much in the game and striving hard to establish himself in the national side.

 

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