Chairman of Selectors Sanath Jayasuriya will grace the 35th Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year mega awards ceremony at the Galadari Hotel on Friday from 5.30 p.m. It will be a fitting tribute to the legendary Sri Lanka cricket captain turned parliamentarian who will return to the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year stage, exactly 25 years since winning the prestigious Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year Outstation title way back in 1988, representing St. Servatius College, Matara.
Master-blaster Sanath Jayasuriya - a former Sri Lanka skipper, has been very much a part and parcel of inter-school cricket in the country and he excelled in cricket while at St. Servatius College, Matara and was picked as Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in the Outstation Segment in 1988.
Muttiah Muralitharan born 17 April, 1972, is a Sri Lankan cricketer who was rated the greatest Test match bowler ever by Wisden Cricketers' Almanack in 2002.He retired from Test cricket in 2010, registering his 800th and final wicket on 22 July, 2010 from his final ball in his last Test match.
Former Sri Lanka skipper Anura Tennekoon was full of praise for the Sunday Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year show which is eagerly looked forward to by schoolboys and supporters alike.
The Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year competition has had deep roots in the sporting annals of this country and it was our sister paper the 'Daily News' that had somewhat of a 'kick-start' to this competition in the year 1956 when the contest was sponsored by Hemachandra Brothers.
Both Ranjan Madugalle and Roshan Mahanama who have won the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year on two occasions each were of the view that school cricket is the cradle of Sri Lanka cricket and both believe that Sri Lanka Telecom Mobitel and Sunday Observer will sponsor young cricketers in the future too, so that the youngsters will be able to come to the top.
The year 2009 was a significant one for young Dinesh Chandimal, the current Sri Lanka Test Vice Captain, and Twenty20 captain, who led Ananda College in the ‘Big Match’ - the ‘Battle of the Maroons’ encounter against Nalanda College.
My involvement with Sri Lanka school cricket goes way back to the year 2000, and within this period over a decade the Sunday Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of The Year Contest has reached great heights by recognising the bulk of the players who have represented the country at the highest level.
Former Sri Lanka Test captain Duleep Mendis who is back in the Island after a short coaching stint in Oman, took a bit of his time to say that the Sunday Observer/Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of The Year Contest as one of the most effective contests in recognising schoolboy cricketers.
Former Sri Lanka batting maestro Aravinda de Silva has played many great Innings,but what invariably comes into one's mind is the match winning century at the 1996 World Cup final when Sri Lanka beat Australia to win a World Cup for the first time.