Sri Lanka’s school cricket is considered as probably the most organized structure in the world. In such a world class school cricket structure, winning the best schoolboy cricketer of the year prize is the dream of every youngster. Winning that unprecedented honour twice in successive years makes it even greater.
Former St. Joseph’s College wicket keeper batsman Sadeera Samarawickrama is yet another highly talented cricketer who stepped in to the big league through the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year, Sri Lanka’s first ever schools cricket awards which began in 1978.
Top order batsman Kusal Mendis, despite recent dips in form, is a highly talented cricketer and batsman whose talent was spotted and gifted to Sri Lanka cricket through the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest which is in its 41st year.
Trinity Lion Niroshan Dickwella is another promising cricketer gifted to Sri Lanka cricket through the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest which has remained as undisputed leader in rewarding schoolboy cricketers for over 40 years.
Sri Lanka, at a time looking for radical changes to the national side, has been given a timely reminder by World Cup discard Bhanuka Rajapakse who cracked a superb century in the recent unofficial series against India ‘A’.
Two leading former Observer Schoolboy Cricketers of the Year main award winners have showcased Sri Lanka’s glory to the world once more in the 2019 ICC World Cup by playing two different major roles as officials.
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.