Former Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal is one of the many Sri Lanka star cricketers produced by Ananda College, Colombo which has been a breeding ground for outstanding young cricketers. The galaxy of the Sri Lanka national players produced by Ananda is headed by Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga.
Umesh Karunarantne became the first cricketer from Thurstan College to win the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year, some 11 years ago. Karunaratne won the Mega Award in 2008, 30 years after the launch of Sri Lanka’s first ever schools cricket awards show.
Ananda College has been the most impressive team in school cricket and has produced the most number of Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of Year main award winners. They have claimed the Mega Award on no less than nine occasions out of the 40 awards ceremonies held during the past four decades. That includes two champions who had won the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year titles on two occasions each – Arjuna Ranatunga (1980 and 1982) and Thilan Samaraweera (1994 and 1995).
Nalanda Vidyalaya has been a prominent educational institution not only academically but also in sports. Nalanda’s progress in sports has been mainly in cricket, producing some of the leading cricketers that the country has been lucky to have.
Winning the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year award and sporting the crown has been the dream of every schoolboy for over four decades. It has remained the most glorified title to win during a player’s school career. But how does it sound if a schoolboy were to be crowned three times with this dream title that has never happened.
Former Sri Lanka Test and One Day International player Ferveez Maharoof was yet another promising star to emerge through the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer contest, sponsored by Mobitel. Following the unveiling new millennium stars of the Mega Show with Trinity’s Kaushalya Weeraratne in 2000 followed by Kaushal Lokuarachchi of St. Peter’s in 2001 and Sahan Wijeratne of Prince of Wales in 2002, Wesley College produced its first ever Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 2003.
The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year produced its first ever Cambrian who won the top award in Sahan Wijeratne who sported the crown in 2002 some 24 years after the inauguration of the event. The promising cricketer from Prince of Wales became the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 2002, the third in the new millennium after Kaushalya Weeraratne of Trinity College, Kandy in 2000 and Kaushal Lokuarachchi of St. Peter’s College in 2001.
The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest reached new horizons with the dawn of the new millennium. After 21 consecutive shows, Trinity’s Kaushalya Weeraratne won the top honours at the first Observer Cricketer of the Year in 2000.
The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year, which will be held for the 41st year this time, reached the new millennium when Kaushalya Weeraratne emerged the star at the Mega Show.
What excitement and enthusiasm is generated when the ‘Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year’ show draws near. The 41st MEGA SHOW, the mother of all shows conducted by the ‘Sunday Observer’ and sponsored by Mobitel will be held soon. With a few more weeks to go for this long awaited show, we continue to take a close look at past winners. Last week we discussed how Thilan Samaraweera was deprived of what would have been a record third win, something which no other school cricketer has achieved so far.