Sajith Fernando - unlucky not to play for Sri Lanka
Sajith Fernando - the unfortunate cricketer
CRICKET: The 1992 Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year
Katugastota Antonian Sajith Fernando should consider himself extremely
unlucky for not being chosen to represent the country at Test level
despite being the number one choice to lead the country in ‘A’ team
tours on numerous occasions. Fernando, played along with Muttiah
Muralitharan who won the Schoolboy Cricketer Award in 1991.
In that year Sajith Fernando won the best batsman’s award and the
following year (1992), Sajith not only won the main Schoolboy Cricketer
of the Year, but also took the prizes for the Best All rounder, Best
Batsman (runner-up) behind Russel Arnold (St. Peter’s) and also became
the runner-up for the Best Bowler, behind Punyakantha Abeygoonesekera
In 1991, the year that Muralitharan became the Schoolboy Cricketer of
the Year, Fernando struck five centuries for his school and fully
endorsed his batting status to win the Best Batsman’s Award. In 1992,
the following year Fernando did better scoring 1,000 runs for the season
with four centuries and taking 100 wickets and made himself eligible for
the top award in school cricket.
Fernando said that he was one of those unlucky guys not to ‘don’ the
Sri Lanka cap although he was good enough to lead strong ‘A’ teams and
Board XI’s whenever a Test or representative team visited Sri Lanka or
whenever a Sri Lanka ‘A’ or under-23 team toured any other country.
Apparently, a player who is good enough to captain a Sri Lanka ‘A’
team during a tour let it be home or away with Test players or young
Test aspirants, should be considered good enough to play in the national
side, but Sajith Fernando’s case was not to be.
The 38-year-old left-hand opening batsman, Sajith Fernando has scored
over 10,000 first class runs and presently is the head coach of S.
Thomas’ College, Mount Lavinia. He took up the job last year and his
approach to the game nearly turned tables against their traditional
rivals Royal in this year’s Battle of the Blues cricket encounter.
Sajith Fernando said that although he had not represented the country
at the highest level, he was proud to win the prestigious Schoolboy
Cricketer of the Year Award and engrave his name along with the other
In the same year (1992), Indika Batuwitarachchi (Raddoluwa MV) took
the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year (Outstation) award while Roshan
Jaymon (St. Anne’s, Kurunegala) was placed second. So the competition
has served the purpose of recognising the Outstation cricketers as well.
In the present Sri Lanka team touring England opener Tharanga
Paranavithana won the Outstation Schoolboy Cricketer Award representing
St. Mary’s College, Kegalle.
There is also Thilan Samaraweera who became the Schoolboy Cricketer
of the Year twice in 1994/95 and Dinesh Chandimal who has also won the
top award in 2009 in the All Island Contest on previous occasions. So,
the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contest and Sri Lanka
Schools Cricket Association no doubt go hand-in-hand in their endeavour
to harness the talent for the future.