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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 Test arena.

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 rash shot.

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 future committments.

The third segment of the contest gives more opportunities for the outstation schoolboys and encourage them to perform well during the season."

 

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