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Sunday, 10 April 2016





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Hashan pays tribute to Observer and Mobitel contest

Former Sri Lanka captain Hashan Tillakaratne paid a tribute to Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel and the Sunday Observer for conducting the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year awards ceremony at the end of each school cricket season.

Former Sri Lanka captain Hashan Tillakaratne with his twin sons now excelling in school cricket - Duvindu Sachin Tillakaratne (Trinity) and Ravindu Sachin Tillakaratne (S.Thomas’)

Tillakaratne, who was adjudged the runner up to Asanka Gurusinha for the best batsman award in 1986, said they anxiously looked forward to the event during their school days. "It was a big event for us when we were playing school cricket for D.S. Senanayake. Similarly, the present schoolboy cricketers too are eagerly looking forward to this event which rewards the most outstanding schoolboy cricketers," he said.

"You feel great when you know that your hard efforts would be rewarded at the end of the school season. Making your way to the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer victory podium was a great feeling for any schoolboy crickcter and the organisers of this great event - the Sunday Observer of Lake House and its present sponsor SLT Mobitel deserves credit for recognizing the school talent, which is the stepping stone for club cricket and to the Sri Lanka national pool thereafter," said the veteran Sri Lanka captain who was a member of Arjuna Ranatunga's victorious World Cup-winning team in 1996.

"Mobitel is rendering a great service by providing the financial backing for the show which is undoubtedly a great sourse of encouragement for thousands of schoolboy cricketers in the country who are dreaming of representing their country at some level," added Tillakaratne who had represented Sri Lanka in 83 Tests to aggregate 4,545 runs with 11 centuries and 20 fifties at an attractive average of 42.87.

He made his Test debut for Sri Lanka in December, 1989 in the second Test against Australia in Hobart. Incidentally, his last Test for Sri Lanka too had been against Australia where he made an unbeaten 74 at SSC grounds in March, 2004.

Tillakaratne's talent was not only confined to the established game. He was a vital ingredient in the Sri Lanka ODI team, including that of 1996 which beat Australia by seven wickets in Lahore to win the ICC World Cup 20 years ago.

He had represented Sri Lanka in 200 ODIs to aggregate 3,789 runs at an average of 29.60 with two centuries and 13 half tons.

Interestingly, his twin sons - Duvindu Sachin Tillakaratne (Trinity) and Ravindu Sachin Tillakaratne (S.Thomas') have shown great form in the recent inter-school season with the former completing the magical 100-wicket mark for the lions.

Meanwhile, the action in the 2015/16 inter-school first X1 cricket season reached its climax with the Singer Trophy Under-19 T20 tournament final played at the Galle International Stadium on Friday.

The challenge from last year's runner-up St. Peter's College Bambalapitiya was too much for the giant killers St. Aloysius College, Galle which went down fighting.

Nevertheless, the sensation created by the Galle school, beating a couple of big names in the tournament, sounds good for the game and a victory for outstation cricket. Although St. Peter's eventually won the final by 38 runs, they had to face stiff resistance from their opponents.


Seylan Sure
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