Big boost for schoolboys - Jayantha Seneviratne
Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Crickter of the year contest
Former Sri Lanka cricketer Jayantha Seneviratne who turned out to be
Nalanda College cricket coach for nearly two decades, believed that the
Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the year contest is no
doubt a big boost and a stepping stone for future cricketers.
Seneviratne who has been closely associated with school cricket and
touring with schools and junior teams home and abroad has the
credentials to comment on the progress of school cricket. He said that
the contest creates a lot of interest among the schoolboy cricketers and
the schools authorities.
During Jayantha Seneviratne's tenure as the Nalanda cricket coach,
the school produced a number of top-players who later went on to
represent the country. Kumar Dharmasena and Gihan Rupasinghe won the
Schoolboy Cricketer awards and there were many players who won the other
awards. Present day players like Mahela Jayawardene won the best
batsman's award and later went on to become the Test captain and a front
line batsman in the Sri Lanka batting line up.
"This contest which has been held over three decades is undoubtedly a
forerunner for the young school boys. It also inspires the players to
perform better while achieving their targets. The batsmen are more
determined to reach the 1,000-run mark target for the season while
bowlers aim at the maximum number of wickets they could get during the
season. The outstation schools too have been benefited with players
determined to hit the top," said Seneviratne.Seneviratne was a hard
hitting top order batsman during his school days and maintained that
level while representing the country. He played six unofficial Test
matches prior to Sri Lanka gaining full Test status, two each against
India with Ajith Wadekar and Anura Tennekoon as respective captains. He
also played against the West Indies with Clive Lloyd and Tennekoon as
captains. And against Pakistan in 1974, in an away series in Lahore in
the second unofficial Test he brought Sri Lanka to the brink of victory
with an unbeaten 98 but he ran short of partners.
He has served Sri Lanka Cricket in various capacities and has been
engaged in an excellent job guiding the youngsters and showing them the
right path to success on and off the field.