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Observer - Mobitel Cricket showpiece today:

Schoolboy cricket stars to glitter

Today it will be school cricket’s showpiece - the 31st OBSERVER-MOBITEL Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year awards presentation at the BMICH. Yes, September 1 will be a memorable day at the BMICH for all the winners of awards at the ceremony that has been held yearly to recognise the effort of schoolboys in the school cricket season.

There will be many awards on offer and the winners have been picked by a panel of umpires from the Association of Cricket Umpires and Scorers Sri Lanka, Central Province Cricket Umpires Association, Southern Province Cricket Umpires Association, Jaffna Cricket Umpires Association, assisted by the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association.

It’s happy occasion as schoolboys from Jaffna too will be receiving awards alongside their counterparts from other principal towns - Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Matara for their efforts during the long drawn-out school cricket season.

To have a show of this magnitude sponsors are a must and MOBITEL has come forward to sponsor this great event which will boost the schoolboys to better deeds in the years to come.

A show of this nature will also need someone special to be the chief guest and without batting an eyelid, the name that cropped up was none other than Sidath Wettimuny-no stranger to cricket. Sidath Wettimuny, the youngest and the most accomplished of Wettimuny brothers played cricket for Ananda for five years.

He captained the school in 1975 and then played for Sri Lanka in a limited overs match played against MCC in 1977 and later went to become a celebrated Test cricketer with a memorable 190 in 1984 at Lords against England. He was also a member of the cricket selection committee.

The value of having Wettimuny as chief guest at this show has been stressed as he is one cricketer that everybody looks up to as his knowledge of the game is such that what he says will be taken seriously not only by the young cricketers, but by the older folk as well.

Besides Wettimuny, a galaxy of stars who illuminated the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year show in years gone by winning top awards at the show will be there. Ranjan Madugalle, Arjuna Ranatunga, Marvan Atapattu, Sanath Jayasuriya all went on to captain Sri Lanka and their presence will be a fillip to the schoolboys.

Speaking about Sanath Jayasuriya who has really hit the top in big time cricket, he has also been a winner in the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in the Outstation Segment when he was playing for St. Servatius College, Matara.

Kumara Dharmasena, ICC Test Umpire, Muttiah Muralitharan, the world’s leading bowler, who both won the coveted awards in 1989 and 1991 together with former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardena, D. S. de Silva, Chairman Sri Lanka Cricket, Nishantha Ranatunga, Secretary Sri Lanka Cricket will also be there at the show.

Also gracing the Mega event will be Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Susil Premajayantha, Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena and Gamini Lokuge.

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