Vote for your favourite schoolboy cricketer! | Sunday Observer

Vote for your favourite schoolboy cricketer!

Voting for the 40th Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year most popular contest, which got underway last week, is picking up on a grand manner.

Although the third term matches of the 2017/18 inter school first X1 cricket season was concluded last week, many schoolboys and their supporters have shown a tremendous enthusiasm in voting for their favourite schoolboy cricketers.

But the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest 2017/18, which is conducted under three divisions – Platinum, Gold and Silver, will reach its climax with the commencement of the key first term matches to be played after the dawn of the New Year.

Providing the much-need financial backing to the 40th Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest is Sri Lanka’s national mobile service provider SLT Mobitel. This will be the eleventh consecutive year that SLT Mobitel has teamed up with the country’s flagship English newspaper the Sunday Observer in hosting the Mega Show.

SLT Mobitel’s Chief Executive Officer, Nalin Perera said that they are proud to be associated with the Sunday Observer in conducting the show which is a “great inspiration for emerging cricketers”. Undoubtedly, this event has been a great source of encouragement and inspiration to schoolboy cricketers who are aspiring to play for the national team”, he further added.

The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year series has produced many distinguish Sri Lankan cricketers who have made their mark in the international arena. Besides those legendary cricketers in world cricket, several past recipients of the prestigious award had played many other leading roles as coaches, umpires, match referees, managers and cricket administrators.

Heading that select group who had served the game in different capacities is the first-ever recipient of the coveted award in 1978/79 – former Royal, NCC and Sri Lanka captain Ranjan Senerath Madugalle, the current Chief Match Referee of the ICC. Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning captain turned Cabinet Minister, Arjuna Ranatunga, who had been adjudged the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year twice in 1980 and 1982 had also served as the Chairman of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Former Sri Lanka and Nalanda captain Roshan Mahanama, the winner of the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1983 and 1984, too had the honour of serving world cricket as an ICC Match Referee. Another proud product of Nalanda and a key member of Sri Lanka’s 1996 World champion team Kumar Dharmasena is a highly respected member of the ICC’s elite panel of umpires.

The highest wicket-taker in Test cricket, Muttiah Muralitharan – another proud product emerged through the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year series, had brief stints as a bowling coach of the Australian national team.

Several past Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Award winners, too had served Sri Lanka cricket in different capacities. Former Sri Lanka captain and the man of the series in 1996 World Cup tournament Sanath Jayasuriya, who had won the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Outstation title as an emerging cricketer from St. Servatius College, Matara, had served as Chairman of Selectors.

Former Ananda, SSC and Sri Lanka captain Marvan Atapattu, another main Award winner who had served as the head coach of the Sri Lanka national team.

Joining that elite band of Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Award winners to play another key role is former Nalanda captain and a member of Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning team in 1996, Asanka Gurusinha. Probably the best one drop batsman produced by Sri Lanka, Gurusinha is the current manager of the Sri Lanka national team.

A professional in marketing in Australia, Gurusinha was honoured with a honourary title ‘Deshabandu’ Award in 1996, for his role in the 1996 World Cup victory. The solid No. 3 batsman who had played many decisive roles for the Sri Lanka team in the past, had represented Sri Lanka in 41 Tests and 147 ODIs. A specialist number three batsman who had played many match-winning innings, is best remembered for his brilliant role in Sri Lanka’s 1996 World Cup victory, with a rock-solid innings of 65 in the final played in Lahore on March 17, 1996. Winning a title at the country’s biggest School Cricket Awards show is the dream of every schoolboy cricketer. Needless to say how important it is for a schoolboy cricketer to win an award as recognition to 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 that the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Awards they had won had been an early inspiration to their international cricket careers.

At the same time, young and old boys of schools engaged in cricket, are making every effort to promote their favourite schoolboy cricketers towards the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer titles. Hence, voting will continue even during this festive season. Voting coupons are being published in the Lake House national newspapers – Sunday Observer, Daily News, Dinamina and Thinakaran.

Voters are hereby notified that weekly draws are to commence from next week. The coupons already received will be taken in for next week’s draw.