Prince of Wales Trophy November 18, 2006

Kapugedera in the awards again

Kapugedera has been in smashing form © Getty Images

Chamara Kapugedera, Sri Lanka's exciting young batsman from the hill country, just can't avoid being in the limelight. His latest accolade is the Prince of Wales Trophy, awarded to the most outstanding schoolboy cricketer of the year, which he picked up at Westminster House, the official residence of the British High Commissioner Dominick Chilcott.

The trophy was actually awarded for 2005 - as was the Sri Lanka Schools' most outstanding sportsman of the year award, which he picked up less than a fortnight ago - but both presentations had to be delayed because Kapugedera has been constantly on national duty overseas.

Since he broke into the national ranks at the age of 18 against Australia at Perth in January this year, Kapugedera - a product of Dharmaraja College, Kandy - has gradually worked his way up towards cementing a permanent place in the national side in both versions of the game.

His early national recognition made it an easy choice for the Sri Lanka Schools Cricket Association to nominate him as the winner for 2005.

Kapugedera adds his name to an impressive list of past winners of this prestigious trophy which was inaugurated in 1998 to coincide with the visit of His Royal Highness Prince Charles to Sri Lanka for the country's fiftieth anniversary of independence.

In presenting the trophy, Chilcott noted that all previous recipients had pursued successful cricketing careers and have at least made it to the Sri Lanka A team.

Pradeep Hewage of St. Benedict's College was the inaugural winner of the award, whose previous winners include Sahan Wijeratne (Prince of Wales College, Moratuwa) in 2003 and Farveez Maharoof (Wesley College) in 2004.

Kapugedera's latest award comes less than a fortnight after Arjuna Ranatunga gave him the other honour. Ranatunga, the former World Cup winning Sri Lanka captain, was present on this occasion, too, but as one of the distinguished guests. Officials of the SLSCA and Sri Lanka team manager Michael Tissera, among others, were also present.