Dimuth, Kusal Janith, Malinga, Thisara and Chamari among top recipients
Sri Lanka Cricket’s annual Awards Night at the Waters Edge last night honoured the country’s cricketers in a riot of color and pomp and pageantry to the tune of throbbing music and dance particularly accentuating on a Sinhala cricket pop song saluting our national heroes. The super event saw Sri Lanka Test and ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne crowned the ‘Best Test Batsman’ and cameo batter Kusal Janith Perera the ‘Best ODI batsman’, Thisara Perera grabbed both ‘Best T20 Batsman’ & ‘Best ODI All Rounder’ while pinch hitting Sri Lanka Women’s T20 captain Chamari Atapattu was adjudged the ‘Best Batswoman ODI & T20I’ among the cream of awards. Lasith Malinga crowned as both ‘Best ODI Bowler & Best T20 Bowler.
Up and coming opening batsman Pathum Nissanka, a find from Moratuwa which has provided several top national performers performers including former veteran captain Duleep Mendis, being adjudged the ‘Best Emerging Batsman’ was also interesting.
Among the VIP’s who were ushered in along with SLC President, Shammi Silva, Secretary Mohan De Silva and Vice President, Ravin Wickramaratne were the Secretary, Ministry of Sports, Ruwan Chandra grace as the Guest of Honour along with the cricket loving Elections Commissioner, Mahinda Deshapriya.
Delivering the welcome address, SLC Vice President, Mohan de Silva, while welcoming the special invitees including the diplomatic representatives, emphasised that this the 10th SLC Awards Night was symbolic of the impact the country’s cricket has made over the years in recognising its top international and national performers from the period August 2018 to August 2019. “While lauding the award winners, I take this opportunity to remind our cricketers of the need to perform with greater zeal to bring glory to their motherland in the future on the international big stage”, he added.
Meanwhile, SLC President, Shammi Silva, while stressing that the SLC annual Awards Night was the stage to recognising international and national performers, announced that Sri Lanka Cricket has set in place a very comprehensive plan to raise the standard of cricket in the country at the grassroots level. “We have specially set in place an improved support plan to enable our cricketers to raise their game, and I urge our cricketers to play with greater zeal and bring honour to their country,” he stressed.
The Sports Ministry Secretary, K.D.S.Ruwanchandra echoed the point that of the 70 national sports in the country, cricket took pride of place due to the massive international scope and recognition the sport enjoyed. “We have accordingly decided to give cricket a further boost by laying special emphasis on school cricket from which the game has evolved in the country by increasing the number of participating schools from 600 to 1000. I believe this would serve in further developing the standard of national cricket in the country with the schools playing an important part,” he stressed.
By Srian Obeyesekere
-The opinions expressed here are the views of the writer and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of Sri Lanka Cricket-