SOURCE : www.cricketfundas.com
Chaminda Vaas : The Silent Assasin
A tribute to one of Sri Lanka's Cricket heroes by B.V.Swagath
One of the most silent yet efficient performers in world cricket for the last decade has been one soft spoken Lankan – Chaminda Vaas. A natural mover of the cricket ball, Chaminda Vaas has made the small Emerald Island proud by becoming the 6th bowler in One Day International History to take 300 wickets. An amazing fact is that all the six bowlers – Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Mutiah Muralitharan, Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath and Vaas himself are from the sub continent! Vaas joined this elite list on April 25th, 2004 by cleaning up the stumps of a hapless Zimbabwean batsman, Alester Maragwede.
Chaminda Vaas is just 29 years and the records he has created are just astonishing. He holds the world record for the best bowling figures in ODIs, a feat which he had achieved at the Sinhalese Sports Club, three years back and Zimbabwe as usual were at the receiving end. He achieved that with a deadly bowling analysis of 8-3-19-8. Three of those wickets came in consecutive balls and that meant Zimbabwe were bundled out for a miserable 38. Three years later, it was a one day international at Harare and Vaas ended with figures of 9-4-11-4, which included the all important 300th of his career! The result of that magical spell from Vaas was an all-time low of 35 for Zimbabwe. Something unbelievable happened on last year’s Valentines' Day – and that was Bangladesh losing their first three wickets of the first three balls of the match. That was the World Cup clash at Pietermaritzburg we are talking about; Chaminda Vaas sending back Hannan Sarkar, Md.Ashraful and Ehsanul Haq to the pavilion with the three batsmen returning without a single peanut in exchange of their wicket. Records and more records come naturally for this left armer and one record which cannot be erased is “the player with the longest name to have ever played International Cricket.” Very few and true cricket fans can remember and pronounce this name properly - Warnakulasuriya Pettabhandige Ushanta Joseph Chaminda Vaas. Interestingly, Chaminda Vaas is also the first Christian to have ever played for Lanka at the highest level.
Sri Lanka were blessed with this highly committed player during the India Vs Sri Lanka, one dayer at Rajkot in 1993/94. Chaminda had an if-not-impressive debut with bowling figures of 8-0-40-1. Ever since that, Sri Lanka had one more bowler other than Murali who could be relied upon and that was Chaminda Vaas. Vaas never had the sheer pace to tear away the batsmen apart, but what he had was the craft. The craft of moving the ball both ways with deceptive pace, the accurate off cutters and an effective bouncer were all part of this man’s armoury. A relaxed and smooth approach to the wicket has kept Chaminda Vaas going over the years and he looks strong enough for more bowling workload in the future.
That’s all about his bowling, but never ever underestimate Chaminda’s potential with the bat! He is a lusty hitter down the order for Sri Lanka and has proved that many times in his career, who will forget his roof hitting sixes at Sharjah! All in all, Chaminda Vaas is a player, every team would desire to have and to back this man’s ability are the career economy of 4.14 and a bowling strike rate of 38 in One day internationals. Salute the man for all his achievements and if you are a top order batsman, then don’t take him easy!
[Edited on 14-5-2004 by pompous]