Observer-Mobitel Cricket Contest will further strengthen cricketers
OBSERVER/MOBITEL SCHOOLBOY CRICKETER OF THE YEAR: Comments of past
The foundation laid by talented schoolboy cricketers will be further
consolidated by conducting contests like the Schoolboy Cricketer of the
Year as these contests will give the necessary confidence for the player
to go up the ladder of success. These sentiments were expressed by
wicket-keeper Romesh Kaluvitharana who won the Best Fielder’s prize at
the 1987 contest there Josephian Rohan Weerakkody became the Schoolboy
Cricketer of the Year.
Romesh Kaluvitharana who won the Best Fielder Prize in the
1987 Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Contest
receiving his award.
Romesh Kaluvitharana’s name was synonymous with Sanath Jayasuriya who
played a big part in Sri Lanka’s World Cup win in 1996. Kaluvitharana
made his Test debut against Australia in 1992 in Sri Lanka and scored an
amazing hundred (132 n.o ) on his debut against Allan Border’s team
which included players like Mark Taylor, David Boon, Tom Moody, Dean
Jones, Mark Waugh, Greg Mathews, Craig McDermott and Shane Warne to name
Bobby Simpson the Australian Team Manager described ‘Kalu’s’ innings
as one of the best that he has seen.
In that Test, Kaluvitharana batting at number 7 as the wicket keeper
of the side struck a 158-ball unbeaten 132 which included 26 fours.
Skipper Arjuna Ranatunga (127) and Asanka Gurusinha (137) who had also
won the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year title on previous occasions,
were the other two centurions.
Kalu was best known for his heroics with his opening partner Sanath
Jayasuriya who kept the local and foreign spectators spellbound with
their sparkling batting displays.
The 42-year-old diminutive right hander, despite his small stature,
did not hesitate to hook when balls were pitched short and always
adopted the method of attack is the best form of defence.
He said that the contest has done a great job in encouraging players.
“This contest will give some sort of hope for the emerging players and a
lot to look forward to. The contest is no doubt a memorable one which
paves the way for the youngster. The umpires who are in the selection
committee should also be commended for their part played during the
selection of the players. The umpires who have seen the players in
action are the best to judge a player. They have done a tremendous job
while taking into consideration the number of top players who have
emerged,” said Kaluvitharana.
‘Little Kalu’ as he is affectionately referred to by popular
commentator Tony Greig, has played 49 Test matches and 189 ODI’s. He
made his debut in 1992 against Australia at SSC and played his last Test
match against Pakistan in Karachi 2004. He is presently the Sri Lanka
‘A’ team coach. He has scored 1,933 Test runs and 3,711 ODI runs.