Who will be the proud recipient of the most prestigious crown in Sri Lanka school cricket? The answer to the question raised by many sports fans and cricket enthusiasts would be known in exactly a month's time when the 38th Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year mega awards ceremony takes place in Colombo.
The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2009, Dinesh Chandimal has turned out to be the hope for the future, especially at a time Sri Lanka is desperately trying to fill the vacuum created in the national team after the retirements of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara.
Asanka Gurusinha is one of the most reliable top order batsmen that Sri Lanka has ever produced. The Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year title he won in 1985 as a star cricketer from Nalanda College, transformed his cricketing career to a new elevation, inspiring him to make his Sri Lanka debut a few months later. But the most memorable moment in Gurusinha's illustrious career was that marvelous half century he made in the 1996 World Cup final against Australia in Lahore, Pakistan. Chasing Australia's modest total of 241 for 7 in 50 overs, Sri Lanka had got off to an inauspicious start when Gurusinha walked in to the middle, losing in-form opener Sanath Jayasuriya run out for nine runs.
Former Sri Lanka captain and ex-national coach Marvan Atapattu said unnecessary competitiveness has destroyed the standard of Sri Lanka’s school cricket, which was once considered to be the best in the world with a well-knit tournament structure.
Sri Lanka’s world cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga cautioned on the poor standard of school cricket and said that the country’s cricket authorities must take immediate action to overcome the situation. Ranatunga, who has won the prestigious Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year award twice in 1980 and 1982, said the standard of local school cricket has dropped drastically, making a negative impact on the national pool.
Who will win the prestigious Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2016 title The answer to the question, sought by thousands of schoolboy cricketers and their supporters, would be known in a few weeks' time when the mega awards ceremony will be held for the 38th successive year.
The final ‘race’ for the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year is on with hundreds of outstanding schoolboy cricketers in the recently concluded 2015/16 first X1 season clashing for top honours under three categories – platinum, gold and silver!
Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya said that the country's school cricket structure, once considered to be the best in the world, needs a complete overhaul to meet today's challenges. The winner of the prestigious Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year (Outstation) award in 1988, Jayasuriya who will be re-appointed as the Chairman of the National Cricket Selection Committee from May 1, said the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA) and Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) should make a joint effort to uplift the standard of local school cricket.
Observer Schoolboy Cricketer turned ICC elite panel international umpire Kumar Dharmasena does not see any crisis situation in the Sri Lanka national team. In an exclusive interview with the Sunday Observer during his short visit to Colombo for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.
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.