40th Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer : I’ll come in turbo-charged wheelchair – Madugalle | Sunday Observer

40th Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer : I’ll come in turbo-charged wheelchair – Madugalle

Chief guest at the 40th Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year awards night Ranjan Madugalle promised that he is prepared to attend the 50th awards night of this prestigious function even travelling on a turbo-charged wheel chair.

Madugalle who was the first recipient of this contest in 1979 when he won the Schoolboy Cricketer award as the captain of Royal College recalled nostalgic moments during his speech that was well received by the packed audience at the Colombo Hilton Hotel on Tuesday.

“I consider it an absolute privilege and I am deeply humbled to be in your midst. As I stand before you tonight an obvious sense of nostalgia overcomes me. It was some 40 years ago that I was on your side. I was much younger, I didn’t have grey hair, I didn’t wear spectacles and more importantly I was single,” said Madugalle.

“Forty years later I am on this side speaking to you as someone who’s played the game, someone who’s walked the life as a cricketer officially, locally and internationally but more importantly as a father of cricket, really because I have children but they are girls.

“Some people tried to hide my age but I was born in 1959 so you know how old I am. In another ten years time you will celebrate your 50th Observer School Cricketer of the Year award and I promise you if I have any life left in me even in a turbo-charged wheelchair I’ll come to cheer you all,” Madugalle said.

Speaking further the former Sri Lanka captain and current ICC chief Match Referee said: “Cricket has given me many joys, cricket has given me a life more than anything. Cricket has taught me to live as a useful citizen of my country. I always believe that the achievements we have accomplished on the field of play only lasts for a period of time but what you do and how you conduct yourself as a person as a human being and more importantly as a citizen of our country far transits time. That’s the most important quality all of you should have. That is something that I will always tell anyone I meet anywhere.


Madugalle wound up his speech by complimenting the organisers ANCL and the sponsors Mobitel.

“No event can be completed or done successfully without the organizational capacity and sponsorship. I like to thank ANCL for year on year for having staged this function which is getting better and better. It is marked in the school calendar as cricket’s spot of the year. Thanks also to Mobitel for providing the sponsorship and without generous resources this kind of event cannot take place.

“On behalf of the cricketing fraternity may I thank the organizers and the sponsors for the wonderful work they have done over the years. Mobitel as well as Observer ANCL have done great work once again for being innovators trying to make this awards ceremony bigger, better and more relevant than ever before. Well done.”

ANCL Chairman Krishantha Cooray did not attend last week’s Award ceremony as a mark of respect to the late Silumina Editor Chamara Lakshan who was laid to rest last Wednesday.

Pix by Saman Mendis, Chinthaka Kumarasinghe, Rukmal Gamage, Shan Rupassara