The Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year recommenced last week after the unexpected breakdown due to the Covid-19 epidemic. Slowly but surely, the 42nd Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year contest is gathering momentum and it will reach its peak of the Most Popular contest when the schools are expected to reopen later next month.
After two months of an unexpected break due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the much-looked forward to Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy and Schoolgirl Cricketers of the Year 2020 contests resume today with fresh hopes. With the continuous curfew in the Western Province and Puttalam district being relaxed along with other parts of the country from tomorrow, the voting for the most popular schoolboy and schoolgirl cricketers of the year will recommence from this week.
Former Sri Lanka batsman and Ananda College consultant coach Sanjeeva Ranatunga has implemented a comprehensive work plan to train their schoolboys during the Covid-19 epidemic. In an exclusive interview with the ‘Sunday Observer’, Sanjeeva, a younger brother of Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, said he has set a novel plan in motion to train Ananda cricketers in their homes during the preset lockdown period.
School cricket fever has dropped as the focus worldwide has been centered on finding a cure for the Covid-19 epidemic. But the sooner we overcome the coronavirus crisis, the big question in sports would be as to who the top winners of the recently concluded inter-school cricket season are.
The prevailing Covid-19 epidemic continues to confine the masses to their homes, not only in Sri Lanka but in almost all other countries. The Coronavirus brought activities in most parts of the world to a standstill. When it came to sports, all sports activities were either cancelled or postponed and well over one hundred and fifty thousand lives have been lost so far.
Former Sri Lanka captain Sanath Jayasuriya says that it is important for cricketers to maintain their training schedules while being at home due to the coronavirus pandemic while at the same time called on school cricket guardians to take stock of where the youth game is today.
The Coronavirus could not impact much on Sri Lanka school cricket and spoil it because it hit the country during the latter part of the local inter-school season. By the time the Coronavirus became deadly, almost all the final league round school matches were concluded. Even the key four Colombo big matches – Royal-Thomian, Ananda-Nalanda, Josephian-Peterite and Thurstan-Isipatana had been concluded when the Coronavirus brought sport and everything else to a complete standstill.
In the golden era of Sri Lanka cricket, one player was prominent in the close-catching positions, motivating the team even when the opponent was on top. His encouraging words played a big role for the Lankan team - to bounce back at crucial stages. The pencil-slim player’s extraordinary role in keeping the spirit of the team high at all times won him the right nickname – Unanduwa, which in Sinhalese means Motivator.
The 141st Battle of the Blues between Royal and S.Thomas’ had a close call due to the coronavirus as it continued its traditions with the game at SSC ground ending yesterday. The world’s oldest uninterrupted inter-school cricket match which has even survived two World Wars, faced and overcame the biggest challenge in its long history.
March is considered the ‘big match’ month and two big matches –Thurstan-Isipatana and Josephian-Peterite have just been concluded. The Battle of the Maroons between Ananda and Nalanda is also set to conclude today and the pitch has now been laid for the world’s oldest uninterrupted inter-school encounter – the Battle of the Blues between Royal and S.Thomas’ to continue its 141 years of glorious cricketing traditions.