For the 33rd year in succession..... :
School Cricket's Mega Show again
CRICKET: Sri Lanka’s first-ever schools cricket awards
ceremony which has been recognising young talent for over three decades
is on once again. The 33rd Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the
Year contest will be launched once again with the dawn of the New Year.
Ranjan Madugalle, the first recipient of the Observer
Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year title, at last year's Mega
The show to beat all shows in recognising schoolboy talent in cricket
will be continued for the 33rd year. Coupons to pick the Most Popular
Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year All-Island and Outstation contests will
be published in the ANCL (Lake House) group of newspapers - the Sunday
Observer, Daily News, Dinamina and Thinakaran, from today and would be
continued until the end of the inter-school first XI season. The end of
the season would be marked by that mega show which richly rewards the
most outstanding as well as the most popular schoolboy cricketers from
all over the island.
The proud sponsor of the Mega Show for the fourth successive year
will be Sri Lanka’s national mobile service provider - Sri Lanka Telecom
Mobitel, which has been in the forefront of the cellular telephone
Incidentally, the SLT Mobitel is also the proud sponsor of Sri
Lanka’s national cricket team.
Thanks to the untiring efforts of SLT Chairman Nimal Welgama and the
CEO of SLT Mobitel Suren J. Amarasekera and its board of directors, the
Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year show would be on once
more to inspire the budding cricketers, who need a helping hand to step
into the big league.
It was way back in 1979 that the Sunday Observer, Sri Lanka’s
flagship English newspaper with the largest circulation and No. 1,
rating, organised the inaugural Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year
show, sponsored by Halliborange. Subsequently, Bata Shoe Company stepped
in as the sponsor of the show before SLT Mobitel stepped in 2008 with a
lavish sponsorship package which provided big cash incentives not only
to the outstanding schoolboy cricketers but also to those men who have
been playing a praiseworthy job behind the screen to produce them -
coaches, masters-in-charge, umpires and other officials.
The Sunday Observer, the undisputed market leader as Sri Lanka’s most
sought-after English newspaper for over eight decades since 1928,
identified the need to recognise the raw talent and inspire them to do
even better at club and national level. With these goals in mind as a
true corporate citizen, the Sunday Observer embarked on a landmark
project in 1979 to salute the most outstanding schoolboy cricketers,
years ago even before even the schools cricket body ever thought of
rewarding schoolboy cricketers or conducting a first XI Tournament for
Former Royal, NCC and Sri Lanka captain Ranjan Madugalle, the present
Chief Match Referee of the ICC, was the first recipient of the inaugural
Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year show held at Nawarangahala in
The prestigious Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year show has
gone from strength to strength, producing the cream of Sri Lanka
cricketers who have excelled at the highest level.
Apart from Madugalle, the other recipients of the Observer Schoolboy
Cricketer of the Year awards who went on to captain Sri Lanka are Arjuna
Ranatunga, Roshan Mahanama and Marvan Atapattu.
Sri Lanka’s heroes at the 1996 World Cup triumph Sanath Jayasuriya
and Asanka Gurusinha are among the galaxy of former Observer Schoolboy
Cricketer of the Year star recipients, along with spin wizard Muttiah
That alone speaks the high volumes of credibility the Observer
Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year show has earned over the past three
decades, going from strength to strength.
The Sunday Observer’s new partnership with the SLT Mobitel made it
even a greater show of high magnitude with enhanced prize money and
high-quality trophies which eventually become lifetime memories for the
outstanding schoolboy cricketers.
Subsequently, several award shows have emerged to reward schoolboy
cricketers and the Sunday Observer is happy that its initiative has paid
rich dividends to those outstanding schoolboy cricketers.
As the proud host of Sri Lanka’s most prestigious and the oldest
schools cricket award show, the Sunday Observer is happy to see several
other organisers stepping in to conduct schools cricket awards shows.
What matters is the game and its development. Our aim has always been
to inspire those outstanding schoolboy cricketers and give them a
helping hand to step into the big league.
It is not the individuals that matters but how we recognise the
talents of schoolboy cricketers and recording them.
As the Mother of all School Cricket Shows continues its rich
traditions for the 33rd year, we are extremely delighted to see several
other awards shows coming up to reward those deserving heroes of school
cricket. Let the wonderful game of cricket become the ultimate winner!