Pinnacle of a schoolboy cricketer’s career - Sri Lanka Manager
Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer Of the Year: Playing
under a champion leader and a champion outfit under Arjuna Ranatunga who
became the Second Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1981, Charith
Senanayake who was a member of that champion Ananda College team is now
the Manager of the National Cricket Side, said that it was a great
privilege for any schoolboy to take part in the much looked forward
Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year event .
Although Senanayake did not receive any individual award during his
era as a schoolboy cricketer while at Ananda College, he stepped on
stage with great pride and that top of the world feeling as a proud
member of a team which was judged the Best Team thrice.
As a schoolboy, this type of recognition is bound to inspire a
cricketer’s career. Sri Lanka may be the only country which continuously
recognises the schoolboy cricketers in a such a big way by organising
The Sri Lanka School Cricket Association has done an enormous job in
feeding the national team with quality players.
This has happened even in the past. Various sponsors in the past and
the present one like Mobitel, rally around SLSCA and support them.
The umpires play a vital role, first officiating during a school
match, then they are also entrusted in picking the ultimate winner by
virtue of the players performance during the school season. It is the
umpires who stand in the centre during a match and are most qualified to
judge the quality of the players. Dedicated umpires usually have a close
look at a player and is in a position to fathom the player’s class and
could say whether he is a potential future player for the country.
Charith Senanayake, the elegant left-handed opener, who opened
batting in three Test matches and nine ODIs in an era where fewer Test
matches were played, endorsed the importance of a contest of this
nature, saying that it is the pinnacle of a schoolboy cricketer’s
career. It is not only the recipients but all the members of a team will
be benefited and will receive a tremendous boost as they walk on to
stage as a team to receive their awards. Charith represented Ananda
College from 1976 to 1981 and was a team member in all age groups. In
1981, in his final year, Senanayake played under Arjuna Ranatunga and
Ananda had the players like Arjuna Ranatunga, Brendon Kuruppu, Charith
Senanayake, Dammika Ranatunga, Oshadie Weerasinghe and Kamal Dharmasiri
who excelled that year and won the Best School Team All Island Award for
three consecutive years.
Senanayake made his International debut against Pakistan in 1990 and
won his Test ‘cap’ in 1991 against New Zealand in Kiwi land. Besides two
players, Oshadie Weerasinghe and Kamal Dharmasiri, the others Arjuna
Ranatunga, Brendon Kuruppu, Dammika Ranatunga represented the country at
the highest level .
This competition, is highly rated as it recognises the school player
and provides a firm footing for the young inspiring cricketer and at the
same time gives a big incentive for the players. The successful run of
the show for so many years have even provided employment opportunities
for the winners and players for a secure future.
The competition is held in two categories namely All Island and
Outstation. Top players have emerged from both sections and one could
see the outstation player coming almost on par with the All Islanders.
Besides the main Schoolboy Cricketer (All Island and Outstation) Awards,
the Most Popular category (through votes) also add more glamour to the