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Sunday, 14 February 2016

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Sunday Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer contest gets underway

The undefeated nine year old partnership between the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited (ANCL) and Sri Lanka Telecom/ Mobitel will continue with the staging of the Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest for the 38th occasion as the sponsorship of the event was presented on Wednesday.


Nalin Perera (fourth from left) hands over the sponsorship to Emerick Fernando (director-finance of Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited) at the ceremony. Others in the picture are from left: Varuna Mallawarachchi (deputy general manager-Advertising ANCL), Jude Silva (communication channel manager Telecom), Saman Wagaarachchi (director editorial) Lal Perera (ANCL deputy general manager sales) and Chanaka Liyanage (consultant Advertising ANCL) (Pic by Ruwan de Silva)

The contest has produced so many Test and National cricketers too numerous to mention and has become a much looked forward to event in the school cricket curriculum. Since its inception in 1978 when Royal College's Ranjan Madugalle won the prize followed by Arjuna Ranatunga who won it twice in 1980 and '82 it has been a steady influx of quality cricketers coming through the system and thereafter going on to represent the country at the highest level.

It is a known fact that school cricket has been the cradle of Sri Lanka cricket. It has been proved time and again considering the more recent players like Dinesh Chandinal (2009) the present T20 captain, Niroshan Dickwella (2012), Kusal Mendis (2013) all representing the country and the present under 19 captain Charith Asalanka who won the title last year a potential national player in the making.

The Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer is picked by readers voting through the coupons appearing in the Sunday Observer, Daily News, Dinamina and Thinakaran.

The other segment is chosen by a panel of umpires from the Association Of Cricket Umpires Sri Lanka (ACUSL) considering how the school cricketers fared during the season. Readers will also be rewarded with cash prizes after a draw which will take place at the end of each weekly draw.

Besides the Most Popular Schoolboy cricketer contest, there are four more categories namely National, Platinum, Gold, and Silver to reward players even from lower groups in the SLCA conducted tournaments. There will be National awards for the best batsman, bowler, fielder, all-rounder and the National award for the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year and the runner-up besides National awards for the best team, well behaved team and up-and-coming team.

In the Platinum, Gold and Silver contests too, awards will be presented to the best batsman, bowler and fielder.

Past winners:

1979 Ranjan Madugalle (Royal), 1980/82 Arjuna Ranatunga (Ananda), 1981 Rohan Buultjens (St.Peter's), 1983/84 Roshan Mahanama (Nalanda). 1985 Asanka Gurusinha (Nalanda), 1986 Roshan Jurangpathy (Royal), 1987 Rohan Weerakkody (St.Joseph's), 1988 Sanjeeva Ranatunga (Ananda), 1989 Kumara Dharmasena (Nalanda), 1990 Marvan Atapattu (Ananda), 1991 Muttiah Muralideran (St.Anthony's, Katugastota), 1992 Sajith Fernando (St.Anthony's, Katugastota), 1993 Naveed Nawaz (DS. Senanayake), 1994/95 Thilan Samaraweera (Ananda), 1996 Nimesh Perera (St Sebastian's, Moratuwa), 1997 Chinthaka Jayasinghe (Dharmapala), 1998 Pradeep Hewage (St.Benedict's), 1999 Muthumudalige Pushpakumara (Ananda), 2000 Kaushal Weeraratne (Trinity), 2001 Kaushal Lokuarachchi (St.Peter's), 2002 Sahan Wijeratne (Prince Of Wales), 2003 Farveez Maharoof (Wesley), 2004/ 2005 Lahiru Peiris (St.Peter's), 2006 Gihan Rupasinghe (Nalanda), 2007 Malith Gunatilleka (Ananda), 2008 (Umesh Karunaratne (Thurstan), 2009 Dinesh Chandimal (Ananda), 2010 Bhanuka Rajapakse (Royal), 2011 Bhanuka Rajapakse (Royal), 2012 Niroshan Dickwella (Trinity), 2013 Kusal Mendis (Prince Of Wales), 2014 Sadeera Samarawickrema (St.Joseph's), 2015 Charith Asalanka (Richmond)

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