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