Most Popular crowns to be decided in a fortnight | Sunday Observer

Most Popular crowns to be decided in a fortnight

The Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017 would be known in exactly a fortnight’s time! Voting for the 39th Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest, now being conducted under three divisions, will close on July 14.

The last set of voting coupons will appear in the Lake House dailies on July 14 and the winners of the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017 Division 1, 11 and 111 crowns are scheduled to be announced on July 16 issue of the Sunday Observer.

Short-listed names

The short-listed names for all other awards on offer at the 39th Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017 contest were finalized during a Special Selection Committee meeting held at the Galadari Hotel earlier this month. This year’s Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Mega Show – Sri Lanka’s first-ever schools cricket awards show, proudly organized by the country’s flagship English newspaper Sunday Observer and sponsored by the national mobile service provider Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel, will be held at the Hotel Galadari on Tuesday July 25, from 5.30 p.m.

As the Mega Show is set to complete its four decades of success as Sri Lanka’s first ever inter-school cricket awards show, SLT Mobitel will be sponsoring the most prestigious event in local school cricket calendar for the tenth consecutive year.

Come 2018, it will be another memorable milestone in Sri Lanka’s sporting history as the country’s first-ever school cricket event, inaugurated at a time during which there had not been even an organized under-19 tournament structure, marks its 40th anniversary.

As a fitting tribute to the first-ever winner of the mega title in 1979, Ranjan Madugalle could well be invited to grace the historic occasion as the chief guest, provided his busy schedule as the Chief ICC Match Referee permits him to do so.

Madugalle graced the Mega Show in 2008 as the chief guest and complemented Lake House and the Sunday Observer for keeping the show going for all these years.

“Sponsors are essential to keep the show going. In the past, most of the winners of the top awards came from Colombo and its suburbs. But now, the outstation schools have come in a big way and it is a positive

sign for the game. May the show continue for many years to come,” the ICC Chief Match Referee was quoted as saying. It was on that occasion that Madugalle suggested to introduce a special award for the most disciplined team.

Madugalle’s suggestion

Be it cricket or any other sport, discipline should always come first as no one is above the game. Welcoming the timely suggestion made by the former Sri Lanka captain, the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest has been offering a special award for the most disciplined team since 2009.

The inauguration of the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest in 1979 was a big boost for school cricket and a great inspiration to all schoolboy cricketers across the country.

There had not been an organized inter-school first X1 tournament at that time and schools that engaged in first X1 cricket at that time had only their friendly and traditional inter-school matches. Incidentally, it was the year in which the country’s oldest inter-school cricket match – the Royal-Thomian encounter, celebrated its centenary.

The captain of the Royal College team at the 100th Battle of the Blues in 1979, Ranjan Senerath Madugalle became the first recipient of the prestigious Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year award, only a few months after their big match.

Since its humble beginnings at Nawarangahala in 1979, the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest has gone from strength to strength. Incidentally, the Royal College Radio Club operated the sound system at Nawarangahala for the historic show, had been among those who were involved with the first-ever show.

A decade with Mobitel

The Sunday Observer’s alliance with SLT Mobitel, which has come forward to provide financial backing a decade ago, has helped the organizers to improve the quality and the standard of the Mega Show.

SLT Mobitel’s Chief Executive Officer Nalin Perera has made an immense contribution to the success story of the event, extending his fullest support, along with the SLT management, spearheaded by its chairman P.G. Kumarasinghe.

The Lake House (ANCL) management, led by its chairman Kavan Ratnayaka, has teamed up with them to maintain the high traditions of the event. 

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