Female cricketers to the fore | Sunday Observer

Female cricketers to the fore

Nalin Perera, CEO Mobitel
Nalin Perera, CEO Mobitel

With the female cricketers competing well in the local and international scene, the emphasis from this year will be to promote them at the Observer Mobitel schools cricketer contest. This will create an ideal platform for both the male and female cricketers to perform and enhance their standard to national level.

“Now even the country is taking the female cricketers seriously, by allowing them to participate in international and Asian events,” said Nalin Perera the CEO of Mobitel.

“As a promoter of sports, we need to give what is required to the female cricketers also so that they can perform and showcase their talents. That’s why we have decided to equally promote both the male and female sectors this year. These are the new steps that we are taking, in addition to recognising them in each category,” added Perera.

“We are looking at ways to have a regional tournament selecting key female players for a one-day tournament. At least two teams will represent a region and they will come into the limelight by displaying their talent at that level. This will be a good opportunity for the players from rural areas to compete with players from other areas and show off their talent even if they do not win awards. This will be like an exhibition tournament for these schoolgirls to showcase their talent,” noted Perera.

The Observer Mobitel schools cricketer show will be very attractive this time through the participation of every stake holder involved.

Like in the past, we will be getting a lot of entertainment to get involved to give the fun feeling. Especially, with the female sector also getting rewarded now, you will have a gender mix and will have a balance and a good audience coming to see the event. Mobitel is contributing a substantial amount that covers all expenses that will be incurred in terms of promoting the game. Some schools in rural areas have been given equipment as in the past.

It is also encouraging to see that interest in rural areas, particularly from the North and East is fast picking up.

Perera said that national the woman cricketers are doing really well these days. One player had scored about 200 runs too. Some of these girls’ schools too are having big matches as well.


There is plenty of talent in this country. If you see the Observer schoolboy cricketer you will see that he is well structured and gone through a proven mechanism that is used by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association (SLSCA). Thereby, even a rural or regional schoolboy who has performed well can come into the limelight.

“This is a motivation that is available for all talented youth. That is because the whole selection process is very well structured. It is a very transparent process that we follow,” said Nalin Perera.

A schoolboy has to strike a balance between sports and the studies. Today, cricket has become a profession where a player can go for match refereeing, umpiring, coaching and the scope has become very wide therefore, there are plenty of opportunities. What is important is for young players to make up their mind at a very early age what they want to be.

“What is encouraging is that 95 per cent of these Observer Mobitel Schoolboy cricketers have represented the country. That is a huge motivation that we as sponsors and as a socially responsible organisation, have to give something back to society. This is a huge encouragement for us and we believe in this program and the way it is conducted we will give the fullest support in the coming years that we will be definitely partnering the Observer Schools cricketer awards to move forward and harness further talent,” said Perera.

“Anyone knows Sri Lanka for its tea or cricket. In that sense we have achieved international recognition mainly because of this sport, so we have a role to play and take this sport further,” said Perera. Selection of girls’ teams will be done with the help of officials of the schools associations in those districts. Even those who play in a lower division can be selected to the team. At least one game will be played in a district to create interest in the area.

Most disciplined team

There will be a special award for the well behaved team, to be selected by the umpires, scorers and officials.