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Sunday, 12 October 2014

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The day all cricket fans have been waiting for...:

The Show of Shows on Wednesday

OBSERVER/MOBITEL CRICKET AWARDS: Thirty seven awards will be at stake at this yearís SUNDAY OBSERVER/MOBITEL SCHOOLBOY CRICKETER OF THE YEAR CONTEST which has produced many top class cricketers on itís 35-year-old journey. The awards are to unfold itís 36th presentation, identifying the Sri Lankan School Cricket Talent next Wednesday (October 15) at the Cinnamon Grand Hotel Oak Room from 5.30 pm onwards.

The show is bound to be a toe-tapping cricketerís delight and will intermingle with a variety of entertainment spots to put the recipients and the entire audience spellbound.

The contest has produced four Test captains and a galaxy of players who have represented the country at the highest level and everyone is confident that the successful run of the contest will continue and bring out more and more young talent. In the recent past in 2009, Dinesh Chandimal and in 2011 Niroshan Dickwella of Trinity have written their names as the last two players who have won Test Ďcapsí for the country.

Madugalle first to win new look contest

Ranjan Madugalle was the first to win the coveted award in the new took contest in 1979 and Arjuna Ranatunga followed suit by winning twice in 1980 and 1981. Then Sanath Jayasuriya ( who won the Outstation Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year) created a sensation at the 1996 World Cup and helped Sri Lanka to win. Jayasuriya also captained.

Later the present National Cricket Coach Marvan Atapattu, too, led the country at Test and ODIís. Roshan Mahanama who won the contest in 1983/1984) and Dinesh Chandimal (2009) led the country at ODIís and T20ís. So, looking back at years gone by the Schoolboy Cricketer Of The year show has been in the forefront of providing youngsters the stepping stone for their future endeavours.

Competition in two segments

This year too, the competition was held in two segments. The Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year by voting through coupons appearing in the ANCL Group Of Newspapers and the other selecting players on merit by Umpires from the Association Of Cricket Umpires, Sri Lanka taking into consideration how they performed during the school cricket season.

The statistics of each player is maintained by the tournament secretary.

The highest award in the competition is the National Awards for the Best Batsman, Best Bowler, Best Fielder, Best Allrounder, Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year and the Runner-up.

Besides the national awards, there is also Platinum, Gold and Silver awards. The Best Batsman, Bowler, and Fielder of these three segments will also receive awards. The team awards at national and provincial level is also in the offing.

From last year, by broad -basing the contest as National, Platinum, Gold and Silver, the outstation schools have got more opportunities and hopes of performing well.

Dharmasena - the chief guest

Kumara Dharmasena, a former Sri Lankan Allrounder who won the main contest, The Schoolboy Cricketer Of The Year in 1989, will be the chief guest.

Dharmasena won the Best Bowlers and Best Allrounders awards as well. He was a member of the 1996 World Cup winning team and after retiring from first-class cricket, he opted for umpiring and reached the top within a short period of time.

Dharmasena is now the only Sri Lankan umpire in the ICC Elite Panel Of Umpires.

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