Royal’s prized catch fulfills date with destiny | Sunday Observer

Royal’s prized catch fulfills date with destiny

Royalist Kamil Mishara is determined to bring the World Cup to Sri Lanka after being crowned the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year.

The 18-year-old dashing left hand batsman joins a galaxy of stars such as Ranjan Madugalle, Arjuna Ranatunga, Roshan Mahanama and Asanka Gurusinghe who have won the plum, receiving the prestigious award from none other than Sri Lanka cricket legend Aravinda de Silva who was the chief guest at school cricket’s most anticipated event.

“I am very happy to receive the award. It is something I have been dreaming of since I started playing school cricket as a young boy,” said Mishara who also received the National award for Best Batsman.

“My ambition is to represent the Sri Lanka national team as soon as possible and bring back the World Cup to our country,” said the lanky teenager who has already made his mark for the Sri Lanka Under 19 team.

Rajapakse Vidana Pathiranalage Kamil Mishara had a phenomenal season reeling off centuries against both local and international opposition, including a monumental double century against Ananda College. His record highest individual score for Royal of 250 runs came off 274 balls including 32 fours and 5 sixes.

He also cracked two centuries against the visiting Australia Under 19 team, albeit in a losing cause, and was the most consistent batsman during an ODI series at home against Pakistan Under 19 notching three half centuries and also leading the side in the final two matches. He was also Man of the Series during the Bangladesh tour.

So he is not only a run-machine letting the bat do the talking most of the time but is also being groomed for leadership, having captained Team Colombo to victory in the Under 19 Super Provincial Tournament.

His hunger to score runs began at an early age when he started playing cricket at Mahanama Vidyalaya, Panadura with his first coach being former Sri Lanka captain Dinesh Chandimal. Having talent is one thing but to perform is different. He made his entry into school cricket by scoring 1,000 runs in his maiden season at Under 13 level.

He continued to accumulate runs with a consistency unmatched to catch the eye of not only Sri Lanka’s junior selectors but also Royal College, Colombo which he joined in 2017 when Thilina Kandamby was coach. His life changed and a promising career blossomed thereafter.

“After joining Royal, I got an opportunity to showcase my skills further. It changed my life. I am thankful to old boys of Royal for supporting me a lot and encouraging me. I also improved my technique,” said Mishara who came under the wing of former Royal and Sri Lanka opening batsman Jehan Mubarak, also a southpaw. He also remembers with gratitude the advice and support he got from Sri Lanka greats like Hashan Tillakaratne, Chaminda Vaas and Upul Chandana, in addition to Farveez Maharoof and Prasanna Jayawardena at various stages of his career.

“They gave me a helping hand and were always encouraging me,” said Mishara whose idol was Sri Lanka legend Mahela Jayawardena. “From my small days I like him and presently I follow Virat Kohli.”