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Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer:

Big leap towards big time cricket - Sadeera

As any schoolboy cricketer's ambition is to represent the country at the highest level, the Sunday Observer/ Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer Of The year Sadeeras Samarawickrema's intentions were quite clear as he became only the second player from St.Joseph's to win the richest school cricket award since Josephian Rohan Weerakkody won it in 1987. Samarawickrema was an active member of the Josephian 1st XI cricket team for five consecutive years and played a vital role for his school as an opening batsman and a wicket keeper. During his five year tenure in the team he had developed to be a sound opening batsman and a steady wicket keeper.

His confidence in both forms of the game gave to the side a tremendous boost and has inspired the rest of the other team members to build the cricket team and be a threat to the other schools.

"Winning the coveted Schoolboy Cricketer of the year trophy has been one of my ambitions from the day I played serious cricket for my school. It is no doubt a big leap towards big time cricket and I am confident that I can make the grade up to the highest level," said Samarawickrema.

Most of the players who have won the award has gone to represent the country. Former Trinity wicket keeper batsman Niroshan Dickwella is the latest addition to the list of the schoolboy Cricketers who have won the award and gone to play for the country in quick succession. Earlier in 2009 Anandian Dinesh Chandimal won the award and represented the country.

Samarawickrema believes that his confidence and concentration has given him the power to overcome many situations while playing. He was a member of the Sri Lanka Under 19 team in the Youth World Cup played in Dubai and also played against Youth teams from India, Australia and Bangladesh.

Samarawicrema savours the 80 runs which he got against England in the Youth World Cup. Samarawickrema has still not got a chance to play in any of the 'A' teams, but given the opportunity he is positive that he could perform well as the modern day cricket is very competitive. Two Joes took away two major trophies at the National competition in this year's Schoolboy Cricketer Of The year contest. Samarawickrema won the main award in addition to be judged as the Best Batsman. The other Joe Priyamal Perera too had a prolific school cricket season and a Sri Lanka Under 19 representative carried away the Best Fielder's trophy at the National segment.

Both, Samarawickrema and Perera were Sri Lanka schools representatives and paid the highest tribute to the contest which has lasted over three decades.

They said that many school cricketers feel that winning a trophy at the contest is something like a key to forge ahead in one's cricketing career. We feel that many versatile cricketers are coming through the system and sincerely hope that the contest will be long-lasting.

The present system of having three segments namely platinum,gold and silver should open new avenues for the school cricketers specially from the outstation schools.

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