Observer-Mobitel Contest has given encouragement to young cricketers
The Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year Contest
is one of the most looked forward to competitions by any schoolboy. The
competition gives a lot of pleasure and encouragement for the schoolboy
cricketer who looks forward to pursue his cricketing career and gives
the player a lot of confidence.
It has proved time and again when looking back that many who had won
the title has ended up representing the country at the highest level.
These views were the sentiments aired by one of Sri Lanka's 'new finds'
Kithuruwan Vithanage who had won a couple awards in the 2010 contest.
Not many schoolboy cricketers have won two awards in one contest, but
Vithanage, the former Royal College all-rounder took the Best Batsman's
award (All Island) on merit, and was voted by the readers as the Most
Popular Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year 2010, (All Island) at the 32nd
Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year Contest. He
continued saying that the three segments Platinum, Gold and a Silver
have further widened the opportunities for the emergence of more
talented players, particularly from rural schools.
It has made possible for the lads from the far away schools to gather
on stage. Vithanage had a successful school cricket career at Royal
College, Colombo and showed early signs as a potential player due to his
fighting all-round qualities. As a left hand batsman who could fit into
any position, Kithuruwan, could change the complexion of the game with
his aggressive style of batting.
He was so impressive during his school days and quickly found a place
in a Development Squad team as a hard hitting batsman and a useful leg
Kithruwan's all-round capabilities were seen in an under 19 home
triangular cricket series against Pakistan,Bangladesh and host Sri
Lanka. In their match against Pakistan, Vithanage rescued the side from
a certain defeat and converted it into a emphatic win with a blistering
unbeaten 75 when Sri Lanka were precariously placed at 98 for 5, chasing
a stiff victory target. In spite of missing several school games for his
school Royal that year due to his involvement with under 19 tours to
England, Australia, New Zealand and at home, won the best batsman's
prize that year.
His consistent batting helped him to make his Test debut in March
2013 against Bangladesh at the Galle Cricket Stadium. His selection was
proved beyond doubt as he struck a fine 169 in a tour game a week prior
to the Test match against Bangladesh.
Kithuruwan has played four Test matches and struck a half century in
the second innings on debut against Bangladesh. He has also played in
It is unfortunate that he has been branded as a player more suited
for the shorter version of the game, although he is capable of producing
something better at Test level as a leg-spinner and an aggressive left