Gihan Rupasinghe wins the title in 2006 | Daily News


 

Gihan Rupasinghe wins the title in 2006

Gihan  Rupasinghe
Gihan Rupasinghe

Gihan Rupasinghe is the fourth Nalandian to become the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year. Rupasinghe joined the select band when he won the richest prize in school cricket in 2006.

His alma mater - Nalanda Vidyalaya, has been a prominent educational institution not only academically but also in sports. Nalanda’s progress in sports has been mainly in cricket, producing some of the leading cricketers that the country has been lucky to have.

The first-ever Observer Schoolboy Cricketer produced by Nalanda was none other than Roshan Mahanama, an unique cricketer who later excelled for Sri Lanka and also served as a reputed ICC Match Referee. After Mahanama the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year title on two successive years in 1983 and 1984, was won by his schoolmate Asanka Gurusinha accounted for the title the very next year 1985.

In 1989, Nalanda produced yet another champion cricketer when Kumar Dharmasena emerged Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year in 1989. After producing three of the greatest greats – Mahanama, Gurusinha and Dharmasena, the fourth Nalandian to become the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year was Rupasinghe who won the richest prize in school cricket in 2006.

Rupasinghe Jayawardene Mudiyanselage Gihan Madushanka Rupasinghe was born on March 5, 1986 at Watupitiwala.

A product of Nalanda College, Rupasinghe has a reputation in the domestic circuit for being a big hitter, coming into bat in the middle order. He was the second-highest scorer for Tamil Union in the Premier League tournament in 2008-09 and his first-class returns that season - 945 runs at 52.50 - drew the attention of the selectors. He was elevated to the Sri Lanka ‘A’ team and scored two half-centuries in the unofficial Tests against Pakistan ‘A’ at home.

He then made it to Sri Lanka’s Twenty20 national squad against the touring New Zealand national side.

Rupasinghe was a member of Thilina Kandamby-led Sri Lanka ‘A’ that toured South Africa. The squad had experienced bowlers in Rangana Herath, Malinga Bandara, Dilruwan Perera, Dammika Prasad, Sujeewa de Silva, Chanaka Welagedara and Ishara Amerasinghe.

The youngsters picked were fast bowler Suranga Lakmal, left-arm spinner Gihan Rupasinghe, Angelo Mathews and Tharanga Paranavitana, who was the leading run-getter in the Premier League Tournament Tier A in 2007-08. Kandamby was the second-highest run-scorer behind Paranavitana and both were part of the Sinhalese Sports Club side that won the title. Kaushal Silva is the wicketkeeper of the squad.

Apart from winning the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year main title in 2006, Rupasinghe also became the best all rounder in the same year. He captained Nalanda first XI team in 2006.

He played for Sri Lanka Schools under-17 team at the Asian Schools Cricket Tournament held in Sri Lanka in 2002 and toured with the Sri Lanka under-19 cricket team to Pakistan in 2005.

He was also included into the Sri Lanka Under-19 team for the Youth World Cup in 2004.

Rupasinghe is the 30th Twenty20 International ‘cap’ for Sri Lanka. He made his T20 international debut on September 2, 2009 against New Zealand. He has played 97 first class matches, scoring 4,908 runs with centuries and 30 fifties.

The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year has always produced players for the Sri Lanka national team right from the inaugural Test team. There is no exception this time round when the cream of world’s top teams clashing for honours at the ICC World Cup tournament currently being played in England.

The wicket keeper batsman of the Sri Lanka squad for the ICC World Cup – Kusal Mendis, has won the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year six years ago when he was leading Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa. Mendis has been an important part of the Lankan team since his school career.

Mendis blossomed through the age-group system and in next to no time, he became one of the most promising young batsmen in the world. He had played only 16 first-class innings before he made his Test debut at the age of 20 and had hit only one first-class hundred before he made a maiden Test century - 176 against Australia at Pallekele, in a short time after his glory at the Mega Show.

Meanwhile, the 41th edition of the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest is scheduled to be held shortly. Incidentally, this will be the 12th consecutive year that SLT Mobitel will be sponsoring the Mega Show.

The Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year contest has a rich history of producing legendary cricketers, including Chief ICC Match Referee Ranjan Madugalle, Sri Lanka’s World Cup-winning captain Arjuna Ranatunga, world’s highest Test wicket taker Muttiah Muralidaran, Most valuble player of 1996 triumph Sanath Jayasuriya and the former ICC Match Referee Roshan Mahanama.

Winning the Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year title has been the dream of every schoolboy cricketer as they generally believe that the prestigious title would take them closer to sporting the Sri Lanka ‘cap’. Most past winners of the Observer Schoolboy Cricketer of the title had made their Sri Lanka debut quickly. Some of them made to the Sri Lanka national just months after winning the ‘crown’.

In recent years, there are three past Observer-Mobitel Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year main award winners who have shown their might in the Sri Lanka team - Dinesh Chandimal (2009), Niroshan Dickwella (2012) and Kusal Mendis (2013).

SLT Mobitel has played a key role in the promotion of the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year during the past 12 years.

Under the dynamic leadership of Sri Lanka Telecom Chairman Kumarasinghe Sirisena, SLT Mobitel Chief Executive Officer Nalin Perera has played a key role in promoting school cricket in a big way.

Chairman of Lake House, Krishantha Cooray has always teamed up well joining in the success of the event.


Visit Kapruka.com Sri Lanka's Largest online shop. Over 125,000 unique categories such as Fresh Flowers, Cakes, Food, Jewllery, Childrens Toys and other Sri Lankan e-commerce categories. Low delivery cost to most cities here and free delivery in Colombo.

 

Add new comment