Voting starts for Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer | Sunday Observer

Voting starts for Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer

Mobitel will be the sponsor for the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer contest for the 11th consecutive year. Mobitel Chief Executive Officer Nalin Perera handing over the media sponsorship to Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd General Manager Abhaya Amaradasa. Also in the picture are DGM  ANCL Advertising Waruna Mallawaarachchi, Mobitel Channel Communication Senior Manager Jude Silva, Sunday Observer Editor Chandani Jayatilleke, Sub-Editor Sunday Observer  Bernard Perera and ANCL Channel Manager Chanaka
Mobitel will be the sponsor for the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer contest for the 11th consecutive year. Mobitel Chief Executive Officer Nalin Perera handing over the media sponsorship to Associated Newspapers of Ceylon Ltd General Manager Abhaya Amaradasa. Also in the picture are DGM ANCL Advertising Waruna Mallawaarachchi, Mobitel Channel Communication Senior Manager Jude Silva, Sunday Observer Editor Chandani Jayatilleke, Sub-Editor Sunday Observer Bernard Perera and ANCL Channel Manager Chanaka Liyanage. Picture by Shan Rupassara

Sri Lanka’s national mobile service provider SLT Mobitel will once again team up with the country’s flagship English newspaper the Sunday Observer to host the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest, which marks its 40th anniversary this year.

The country’s first and the most prestigious school cricket award show, which began way back in 1978/79, has come a long way, producing many legendary Sri Lanka cricketers who have made their mark at world level.

Winning an award at the Mega Event has always been ‘the dream’ of every schoolboy cricketer as they firmly believe that it would take them a step closer to wear the national cap. There is every reason to believe so as most of the past winners had made their Sri Lanka debut merely moths after winning an award at the Mega Show. Right from the inaugural year in which the then Royal captain Ranjan Madugalle was adjudged the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1978/79, the event has a cherished history of producing a galaxy of stars.

The Sunday Observer inaugurated the mega awards show at a time when there had not been a single school cricket awards show. Forget about an awards show altogether, but there had not been an organized inter-school first XI tournament structure at that time. Schools engaged in first XI cricket had only their friendly and traditional inter-school matches. It was the year in which the country’s oldest inter-school cricket match – the Royal-Thomian encounter, celebrated its centenary.

Incidentally, the captain of the Royal team at the 100th Battle of the Blues in 1979, Ranjan Madugalle became the first recipient of the prestigious Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year award, only a few months after their big match. Beside Madugalle, the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest has produced some of the top Sri Lanka cricketers who had prominently marked the country in the world cricket map.

Among them are former World Cup-winning captain turned Cabinet Minister Arjuna Ranatunga, the most valuable player of the 1996 World Cup tournament and ex-deputy Minister Sanath Jayasuriya, world’s highest wicket taker in Test cricket Muttiah Muralitharan, former Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu, ex-Sri Lanka ODI captain cum Test opener Roshan Mahanama (former ICC Match Referee), members of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World champion team Asanka Gurusinha (manager of the present Sri Lanka national team) and Kumara Dharmasena (who has also serves as ICC’s elite panel of umpires).

Former Test batsman and national batting coach Thilan Samaraweera is also among the past winners of this coveted award. Once again, the Mega Show will be conducted by the Sunday Observer and sponsored by Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel for the 11th successive year.

It’s not just another cricket awards show! It has a proud history of opening new horizons for the country’s budding schoolboy cricketers and inspiring for them to become national cricketers.

That alone speaks the high traditions maintained by the Mega Show which continues to produce champion cricketers.

Winning a glorious of award of this magnitude has been the dream of any schoolboy cricketer during the past four decades. At a time when there had not been a single award show for schoolboy cricketers or an organized inter-school Under-19 two-day tournament, the Sunday Observer and its publisher Lake House understood the need to inspire the country’s budding cricketers. That gave birth to the country’s biggest school cricket awards show.

It is heartening to see that several others following the Sunday Observer’s initiative to hold similar awards shows to commend the achievements of schoolboy cricketers after every season. But the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year remains the ‘Mother of all Shows’.

Needless to say how important it is for schoolboy cricketers to win an award as recognition of their commendable achievements after a strenuous season. It is not just appreciating their achievements but also a big inspiration for them to step into the big league. All past winners of this prestigious title have repeatedly said what a big inspiration the award had been to their cricket careers.

Since its humble beginnings at Nawaragahala in 1979, the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest has gone from strength to strength. Its alliance with SLT Mobitel, which has come forward to provide financial backing for more than a decade, has helped the organizers to improve the quality and the standard of the Mega Show.

SLT Mobitel’s Chief Executive Officer Nalin Perera has always extended his fullest support to keep the Mega Show alive, along with the SLT management, spearheaded by its chairman P.G. Kumarasingha. The Lake House (ANCL) management, led by its chairman Krishantha Cooray, has teamed up with them to keep the Mega Show alive.

Now, it’s the time to vote for your favourite schoolboy crickcter and hail their achievements during the ongoing season. Voting for the most popular segments of the 40th Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest commences today as the 2017/18 inter-school first XI cricket season’s third term matches scheduled to end this month.

Voting coupons for the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest will be published in all Lake House newspapers, including the Sunday Observer, from today. The winner of voters each week is to receive a ‘Mobitel 4G Wi-Fi Router’ with the courtesy of SLT Mobitel. The other top three voters will be given cash prizes as follows Rs.2500, Rs.1500 and Rs.1000.

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