Vass to retire after World Cup

Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka’s leading pace bowler for well over a decade is planning to retire from international cricket after next year’s World Cup in the West Indies.

Still only 32 years of age with 301 Test and 352 one-day wickets under his belt, Vaas said he wanted to quit cricket on a high note.

“I’m bowling as well as ever and I’ve enjoyed the game thoroughly and I want to go on a high note. Too often most sportsmen make the mistake of hanging on for too long not realising time has come for them to go with their heads held high,” he said in an interview. “I don’t want to repeat the same mistake. I want people to remember me as a guy who retired still at the height of his prowess,” he added.

The left-arm pacer, who took his 300th Test wicket in the Test against India in December, said he had set a target of completing 400 Test and 400 one-day wickets before retirement. “We’ll be playing plenty of one-day cricket this year and I think I’ll be able to get to that mark. The Test milestone is a little bit of worry and may be I’ll not be able to get there. But all in all I would be extremely pleased if I end up with 350 or 375 Test wickets.”

Vaas missed the one-day series won by Pakistan 2-0 on Wednesday due to a fitness problem and is fighting to get fit for the first Test starting at the Sinhalese Sports Club (SSC) here from Sunday.

His new-ball partner, another left-armer, Nuwan Zoysa was seen roaming around the team hotel on Thursday fuelling speculations he had been called up as a cover for Vaas.

A Sri Lankan team official said the Test squad would be announced on Friday.

Vaas said he had been extremely disappointed when Sri Lanka could not win the VB Series finals against Australia Down Under recently.

“We had won the first final comprehensively and had got them under pressure when we got their top three batsmen for only ten runs in the second final. But we couldn’t get things right from that point on. They played positively and eventually took the game away from us when they amassed 368-5. It certainly was an opportunity lost and all the players were pretty down after the defeat,” he stated.

Vaas said throughout his career he had set targets for himself to keep himself going. “Any cricketer needs to set targets for himself and constantly revive how he progresses. One of the problems I see among the youngsters is that they don’t set targets for themselves. They are just happy to say they’ve represented Sri Lanka and fade away after that.”

Vaas also stressed that in modern-day cricket talent alone couldn’t take a bowler, or for that matter a cricketer, anywhere. “He needs to work on his skills and stay focused.”

Vaas said the 8-19 he took against Zimbabwe at the SSC Ground years ago remains special for him, as it’s the best ever bowling figures in one-day cricket. “That was also on my wife’s birthday which made it even more special. The hat-trick that I took off the first three balls against Bangladesh in the World Cup at Pietermaritzburg also remains special for me. After the game the officials asked me to plant a tree there on the grass banks, as it was a tradition there. It was emotional because they allocated a spot next to where the late Malcolm Marshall had planted a tree. It was a touching moment for me.”

Asked about rumours that his appointment as the vice-captain created quite a stir and there were suggestions that some players were not supportive and that he sent in his resignation twice after not getting the support of the players, Vaas stated candidly he had indicated to the selectors that he didn’t want to be considered as the vice-captain anymore. “I’ve forgotten what happened following my appointment as vice-captain. But I won’t forget the experience I learned from it.”

Source: The News

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Technorati Tags: Chaminda Vaas, Sri Lanka, World Cup

Written by Kashif Aziz on March 25th, 2006 with no comments.
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