The ‘Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of theYear’ contest, which marks its 40th anniversary this year, has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1978/79. Ever since the then Royal captain Ranjan Madugalle was adjudged the inaugural Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year at Nawarangahala exactly four decades ago, the contest has produced many legendary cricketers including Sri Lanka’s World Cup winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga and the world’s highest Test wicket taker Muttiah Muralitharn.
Former Sri Lanka ODI captain and ICC Match Referee Roshan Mahanama feels that his crowning glory as the ‘Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year’ in 1983 and 1984, was a major milestone in his career.“To be adjudged the best schoolboy cricketer and being honored for the hard work during the season was a great encouragement. I was privileged to achieve one of my dreams”, said Mahanama in a recent interview with the Sunday Observer. “Winning the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year on successive years was a memorable one.
The all-important first term matches of the inter-school first X1 cricket season are in top form before the traditional big matches starts in two months’ time. At the same time, the race for the Observer-Mobitel Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contests too have attracted thousands of schoolboys who support their favourite cricketers.
Arjuna Ranatunga does not need any introduction. He has come a long way since his early days as a junior schoolboy cricketer to go places to end his sporting career as a legend in world cricket. He now holds an important Cabinet portfolio as a politician, serving as Minister of Petroleum Resources Development.
Former Observer Schoolboy Cricketer main Award winner turned ICC Elite Panel umpire Kumar Dharmasena reached another great milestone in his distinguish career, this time as an international umpire.The 46-year-old former Sri Lanka Test all-rounder, who officiated in the fourth Ashes Test between England and Australia concluded in Melbourne yesterday with Indian Sundaram Ravi, has now officiated in 50 Tests as an umpire.
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.
The ‘Observer Schoolboy Cricketer’ which commenced in the year 1979 continues this prestigious to date with the theme being set as searching today’s cricketing talent for tomorrow’s champions for future.The Cricketing talent search programme has produced the following cricketers who reached the top on the field while bringing great honor to the country through their talents. Maximum of these award winning cricketers since its inception has served the game exceptionally well in the local and at international level.
Sri Lanka’s national mobile service provider SLT Mobitel will once again team up with the country’s flagship English newspaper the Sunday Observer to host the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest, which marks its 40th anniversary this year.
Mobitel Chief Executive Officer, Nalin Perera commented saying, “I am delighted to see Sri Lanka’s first ever school cricket awards show completing 40 years of resounding success.It has remained the most looked forward to event in Sri Lanka’s school cricket calendar. Mobitel is honored to be associated with the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest, which has produced many legendary Sri Lanka cricketers since 1978/79.