The selection panel that picked the winners of the Sunday Observer-Mobitel School Cricketer of the Year contest. Seated: Daminda Cooray (President, Sri Lanka Cricket Umpires Association), Jude Silva (Communications Channel Manager, Mobitel), Thilak Watthuhewa (Principal Nalanda College and President Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association), W. Dayaratne PC (Chairman ANCL), Asantha de Mel (chairman National Cricket Selection Committee), JAKS. Indrajith (Secretary, Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association), Upul Wewage (Secretary, Sri Lanka Cricket Umpires Association). Back row: Champika Weeratunge (SLSCA Girls Tournament Secretary), Y. Nishantha Kumara (Tournament Secretary Under 19 SLSCA), Viraj Chaminda de Silva (Technical Officer SLSCA), Amarajeewa Dissanayake (Secretary, Central Province Cricket Umpires Association), AMCV Kumara (President, Southern Province Cricket Umpires Association), Deshapriya Dissanayake (ACUSL Assignment Committee Chairman), Kumar Gamhewage (General Manager, Batsman.com), Wasantha Ariyawickrema (Treasurer, ACUSL), Saman Hettiarachchi (Former Selection Committee Chairman, SLSCA), Manjula Vaz (SLSCA Treasurer) Pic by Dushmantha Mayadunne)
The 42nd Observer-Mobitel School Cricketer 2020 selections were finalised on Friday with the Panel of Judges headed by Ashantha de Mel former Sri Lanka cricketer and National Selection Committee Chairman.
The Panel consisted of representatives from the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association and Sri Lanka Umpires Association which went through a strenuous task in selecting the nominees for various categories based on performances in three Divisions during the past season.
After perusing their performances five nominees are in contention with Navod Paranavithana from Richmond College Galle, Sri Lanka Under-19 captain Nipun Dananjaya from Joseph Vaz College Wennapuwa, Kamil Mishara from Royal College, Dilshan Madhusanka from Vijaya National school, Hungama and Sonal Gamage from Mahanama College, Colombo in the running.
Paranavithana made a monumental innings of 400 in the 2020 season.
The Schoolgirl Cricketer Award has four nominees in Kaveesha Dilhari of Devapathiraja Vidyalaya, Ratgama, Umesha Thimeshani also from the same school, Janadi Anali from Anula Vidyalaya and Vishani Gunaratne of Ratnaveli MV in Gampaha who have all done well in the concluded inter school cricket season.
Dilshani became the highest run-maker for her school as well as among schoolgirl cricketers during the season.
Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association President and Principal of Nalanda College, Thilak Watthuhewa speaking on the occasion said that the Observer School Cricketer has paved the way for school players to reach greater heights in their cricketing careers.
More than half of the Schoolboy Cricket Award winners have represented the country and later moved on to take up administrative positions at international level with the first winner Ranjan Madugalle ending up as the ICC’s chief match referee.
The Observer School Cricketer competition has also encouraged enthusiastic young schoolboys to get involved in cricket with the hope of reaching greater heights while maintaining a healthy life.
In fact parents too played a vital role in encouraging their children to take to the sport in a serious manner helping the country to produce world class cricketers who have done their best to bring honour.