All arrangements have been finalised for the launch of the much looked forward to Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017 competition.
We are now ready to add a whole new dimension to this prestigious contest which began in 2008.
It is with a profound sense of pride we wish to announce that Dialog Axiata-- second to none in the local telecommunication industry- is joining hands with the Sunday Times, in our way forward to in taking this competition to new heights.
This is would be a dialogue that reverberates to every nook and cranny of our Cricket environment, while elevating Sri Lanka (SL) School Cricket to a whole new level.
The competition, leading up to the gala awards ceremony, is expected to be exciting and eventful, with new features and upgrading of existing features.
Besides the main awards for the winners, who will be picked by an expert selection panel under the patronage of the Sunday Times, Dialog will take the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017 to the whole new world of digital and social media.
As is the custom, coupons for the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017 competition will be published in selected Wijeya Newspapers publications such as the Sunday Times, Daily Lankadeepa and Daily Mirror, with Ada and Daily FT coming on board to make the competition more interactive.
Coupons will be published from January 8, starting with the Sunday Times and thereafter continue every day for 26 weeks in the two English dailies, the Daily Mirror and Daily FT, and the two Sinhala dailies, Daily Lankadeepa and Ada.
Week beginning July 2 will be the last week of voting.
In addition, Dialog Axiata will introduce a digital version with an online voting system through an Online Portal to vote for the Most Popular Cricketer (www.dialog.lk/cricket).
There will be a different method to follow in the digital process of voting for the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer.
-- Eligibility, online voting and player registration --
As usual, Cricketers who have represented their respective school's 1st XI and have scored 400 or more runs or, taken 25 or more wickets in the last season, will automatically qualify for the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017 competition.
The competition, as usual, will have three categories -- All-Island, Emerging and International schools. Readers will be able to send in as many coupons valid for the week before the cutoff date of the named week.
All schools in the ongoing Inter-School Division I tournament will be categorised under All-Island Schools, while the rest of the schools, competing in Division II and III categories, will come under Emerging Schools.
International Schools will come under a different category.
This categorising method will apply to the selections as well as for choosing the Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketer.
With the introduction of digital voting, players who wish to enrol will have to confirm their participation by registering online at www.dialog.lk/cricket from January 8 to 31.
Even schoolboy Cricketers who have been voted into the competition by readers, must register during the month of January.
Players who register online will be officially scrutinised for their eligibility and entered into the online voting mechanism from February 1, while the customary coupon voting will be still on.
Both coupon votes and online votes will be counted on a weekly basis and the official results published every week beginning Sunday in the five newspapers and its websites, as well as that of Dialog Axiata's Online Portal.
The deadline for online voting will be the same as for the coupons.
Last season, Pawan Dias of Royal College Panadura- All-Island, and Madawa Fernando of De La Salle College Mutwal- Emerging Schools, were the two, Most Popular Schoolboy Cricketers, while the International Schools category was inactive.
At the same time, readers who vote for their Cricketing heroes, will also be rewarded on a weekly basis.
Dialog Axiata will be splashing gifts to four lucky winners among the voters, encouraging greater participation among our readers to motivate our budding Cricketing talents.
However, the spotlight will be on the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017, the crowning feature of the entire process, where the winners will be selected solely on their performances.
Last year, Richmond College and SL U-19 skipper Charith Asalanka was crowned Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year, while Sammu Ashan, another SL U-19 cap from Ananda College was 1st Runner-up, with another SL U-19 cap from St. Sebastian's College Katuneriya, Asitha Fernando as 2nd Runner-up.
Rasith Upamal Dias of Dharmaloka College was the Emerging Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year.
The judges of the selection panel of the Schoolboy Cricketer of the Year 2017, belonging to different components of the local Cricketing structure, will be observing the performances of the youngsters during the ongoing school cricket season.
The engagements of the SL U-19 team too, will be followed closely by them, to further help them in their final decisions in May.
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