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Observer-Mobitel cricket contests will encourage players to perform better



D. S. de Silva

CRICKET: Sri Lanka cricket has come a long way and the encouragement given to young cricketers will help them to perform better. The competitions like the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contests will encourage the young cricketers to work harder for the greater glory of the school and the country, said D. Somachandra de Silva, the Advisor to President on cricket and Chairman Sri Lanka Cricket.

Dandeniya Somachandra de Silva well-known as `DS' - the best leg spinner Sri Lanka produced, said that the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contest has been held for the past three decades is regarded as a national event of the utmost importance in the school cricket calendar.

This annual event with its rich traditions recognises schoolboy cricketers and teams from across the island who have performed with outstanding merit during the school cricket season. As all know school cricket is the nursery of our national cricket. Hence it is natural that those who are successful in gaining recognition in this event are normally a short step away from national recognition. Sri Lanka cricket is most grateful to the Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Limited and the Observer and the sponsors Sri Lanka Telecom-Mobitel for the yeomen service they have rendered for the benefit of our national cricket. `DS' praised schools cricket in the country.

Sri Lanka Cricket will give all support to young schoolboy cricketers to come up to national level, the Cricket Board boss said.

He said that the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contests have brought to light rich talent in all parts of the country. This contest has been a source of inspiration to Sri Lanka's budding schoolboy cricketers and is bound to produce more champion cricketers in the future. I'm thrilled by the resounding success of the contest all these years. Several the Observer Cricket Contest winners were in the 1996 World Cup winning team and around 18 winners have played for Sri Lanka. Four winners have gone on to captain the Sri Lanka team and eight winners have led Sri Lanka `A' sides. Then there are some who have captained the Sri Lanka under-19 team at Youth World Cup Championships. So the value of the competition is clearly seen without a doubt.

The Sri Lanka cricket boss said that sponsors are vital for the progress of sports in a country.

D. S. de Silva's contribution to Prince of Wales and Sri Lanka in cricket is remarkable. He has played in three World Cup tourneys - 1975,1979 and 1983.

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