Observer - Mobitel Contest shows the path for schoolboys to tread
on- Marvan Atapattu
After an illustrious school cricket career at Ananda College , former
Sri Lanka skipper Marvan Atapattu, the once batting coach and now the
Head Coach for the Sri Lanka national cricket team, was the Schoolboy
Cricketer Of the Year 1990. Rated by most of the International and Local
cricket community as one of the most technically equipped batsman in the
Atapattu captained Ananda College in 1989 and became the Schoolboy
Cricketer Of The Year 1990 due to his highly impressive performances
during the school season.
He was so impressive with the bat and his right-arm leg-spin bowling
during his school days, Atapattu was a player earmarked as a future Test
prospect. He was so committed to tecnique and was hardly seen playing a
He made his Test debut in 1991 against Australia. However, his Test
career in the initial stages was not that impressive as he had a series
of failures. But later, he made a big impact by coming back strongly
with some superlative batting performances. He was a member of the 1996
World Cup winning team.
Atapattu, a player who sticks to his repertoire of strokes and play
them to perfection, has always been a model for the younger players. His
Test and ODI statitics shows his remarkable feats at the highest level
in both versions of the game.
Marvan, captained Sri Lanka from 2003 to 2006 and has played 90 Test
matches and 270 ODI's. He has sixteen Test hundreds and six double
hundreds and has scored a hundred against every Test playing nation,
which is an unique feat. His six double hundreds clearly show his
dedication towards batting. He is a batsman who likes to keep on batting
converting 50's into hundreds and hundreds into double hundreds. Almost
every shot of his came from the coaching manuel and he was a role model
to every schoolboy.
Atapattu, besides winning the Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year trophy,
also became the Best Batsman and the Best Captain in year 1990. He was
an useful right-arm leg-spinner during his school days, but gave up
bowling to concentrate more on his batting.
Referring to the competition, Atapattu said that it is an occasion
where school cricketers look forward very much. "It inspires the player
and indicates him where the player stands. It conveys the message that
who has a future in the sport. "In the past, it was a strong panel of
umpires who picked the winners. Most of them have officiated in school
matches and seen the players physically. That's why most of the winners
have reached the top level, and hope that trend will continue in the
future too" said Atapattu.
"It is good to see that the competition has taken root in rural areas
as we see many promising youngsters making the mark for big time
cricket. These players have come through the hard way and the Sunday
Observer/Mobitel Contest will put them on the right track in their
The third segment of the contest gives more opportunities for the
outstation schoolboys and encourage them to perform well during the