Chaminda Vaas

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Chaminda Vaas
චමින්ද වාස්
Chaminda Vaas.jpg
Personal information
Full name Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas
Born (1974-01-27) 27 January 1974 (age 42)
Mattumagala, Sri Lanka
Nickname Vasy
Height 5 ft 10 in (1.78 m)
Batting style Left-handed
Bowling style Left arm fast medium
Role Opening Bowler
International information
National side
Test debut (cap 63) 26 August 1994 v Pakistan
Last Test 20 July 2009 v Pakistan
ODI debut (cap 75) 15 February 1994 v India
Last ODI 27 August 2008 v India
ODI shirt no. 22
T20I debut (cap 15) 22 December 2006 v New Zealand
Last T20I 20 September 2007 v Australia
Domestic team information
Years Team
1990/91–2011-12 Colts Cricket Club
2003 Hampshire
2003/04 Uva
2005 Worcestershire
2007 Middlesex
2007/08-2009/10 Deccan Chargers
2010–2012 Northamptonshire (squad no. 6)
Career statistics
Competition Test ODIs FC LA
Matches 111 322 227 412
Runs scored 3,089 2,025 6,223 3,220
Batting average 24.32 13.68 25.82 16.59
100s/50s 1/13 0/1 4/29 0/8
Top score 100* 50* 134 76*
Balls bowled 23,438 15,775 41,266 19,411
Wickets 355 400 772 506
Bowling average 29.58 27.53 24.64 26.63
5 wickets in innings 12 4 34 4
10 wickets in match 2 n/a 4 n/a
Best bowling 7/71 8/19 7/28 8/19
Catches/stumpings 31/– 60/– 57/– 83/–
Source: CricketArchive, 24 December 2012

Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas[1] (born 27 January 1974), more widely known as Chaminda Vaas, is a former Sri Lankan cricketer.

Vaas has been described as the 'most penetrative and successful new-ball bowler Sri Lanka has produced'.[2] In 2004 he gained international recognition when he was selected for the World Test and one-day XI at the inaugural ICC Awards. He was once again selected for the World Test XI at the 2005 awards. As of 22 February 2015, only 3 bowlers have taken more ODI wickets than Vaas.[3]

Vaas retired from all forms of international cricket after a 14-year career on 27 August 2008 in an ODI against India.

Career highlights[edit]

A graduate of the prestigious boys' school in Colombo, St. Joseph's College, Colombo, Vaas made his first class debut for Colts Cricket Club against Galle Cricket Club in December 1990 aged 16. Nearly 4 years later, after just 13 first class matches, he made his Test debut for the Sri Lankan cricket team against Pakistan at Kandy in August 1994. Within his first year in the national side, he made a great impact guiding Sri Lanka to their maiden Test Match away victory against New Zealand at Napier, taking 5–47 & 5–43 and scoring 33 & 36 and being nominated Man of the Match.[4]

He was a regular member of the ODI side during the 1996 World Cup, playing in all six matches including the Final, where Sri Lanka defeated Australia to become world champions for the very first time.[4]

In 2001–02, he took 26 wickets in a series win against the West Indies. This included one match-haul of 14 wickets, a feat only achieved by two fast bowlers in the subcontinent, the other being Imran Khan. At the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup, held in South Africa, Vaas picked up 23 wickets, becoming the leading wicket taker in the tournament. This included a best of 6–25 against Bangladesh, where Vaas also took a hat-trick with the first three deliveries of the Bangladesh innings, a record in one-day international cricket.

He had the rare opportunity to captain Sri Lankan ODI team in 2006, which restricted for only one match.

On 26 June 2007 at Colombo, he made his maiden test century against Bangladesh when he scored 100 not out in a total of 577–6 declared. This occurred in his 97th Test Match, which at the time was a record for the most number of Tests before scoring a maiden century (since overtaken by Anil Kumble). Soon after in November 2007, Vaas played his 100th Test match against England, in what was also Sanath Jayasuriya's final Test match for Sri Lanka.

He retired from Test Cricket after the 3rd Test against Pakistan in July 2009.[5]

Playing style[edit]

He is a left arm swing bowler. Vaas used to open the bowling for Sri Lanka and was noted for his in-swinger. He also had a well disguised off cutter and later in his career he added reverse-swing to his armoury, which made him a consistent wicket-taker even on bland subcontinental pitches. Although his pace has dropped over the years, he has masterful control of line and length. Vaas is also a useful batsman down the order, and has reached 3,000 Test runs, including 13 Test half-centuries and a century. Only 11 bowlers in Test history with 200 wickets have scored more runs than Vaas.[6] As a fielder, he is noted for his strong arm. At the start of a new bowling spell, he would tell the umpire: "Left arm fast".[citation needed]


Chaminda Vaas is Sri Lanka's most successful pace bowler, having taken 355 Test wickets, which equalled the number of Test wickets taken by Dennis Lillee, the legendary Australian fast bowler though Lillee played only 70 tests. He led the Sri Lankan new ball attack for over a decade. He achieved his 300th wicket on 12 December 2005 against India, becoming only the second Sri Lankan bowler to pass this milestone, after Muttiah Muralitharan. He has also taken 400 One Day International wickets, only the second Sri Lankan to do so, also after Muralitharan. As of 22 February 2015 only 3 bowlers have taken more ODI wickets.[3]

On 27 August 2008, Vaas achieved a landmark in his ODI career, when he had Yuvraj Singh caught off his bowling in his very last ODI match against India at Colombo. Yuvraj Singh became his 400th ODI Hanovervictim and consequently Vaas joined the illustrious company of Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis and his team mate Muttiah Muralitharan as only the fourth bowler in international cricket to have taken 400 ODI wickets.

Vaas also holds the record for the best bowling figures in one-day international cricket with his 8 for 19 off eight overs against Zimbabwe at the Sinhalese Sports Club Ground in 2001.[7] Vaas took the first eight wickets of Zimbabwe's then record-lowest ODI innings of 38, with Muralitharan taking the final two wickets in his first over. It remains the only eight-wicket haul in ODI history.

Vaas has taken two ODI hat tricks in his career, the third of only four players to have achieved the feat. The first was taken as part of his 8/19 spell.

Vaas is one of only two bowlers to take two five-wicket hauls at McLean Park.[8]

English County Cricket[edit]

He had joined Middlesex County Cricket Club for the 2007 cricket season as an Overseas registration. In 2008, he signed with the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Deccan Chargers on a contract worth $200,000. He played 4 matches for the Deccan Chargers team and picked 4 wickets at an average of 26.61 with an economy rate of 1.4. In 2009 he played some matches in P.Sen trophy for Mohun Bagan. He also joined Northamptonshire County Cricket Club for the 2010 T20 competition and found himself in the unusual position of opening the batting although he did well recording three half centuries. He subsequently signed a contract to join Northants for the entire 2011 & 2012 seasons. At the end of 2011 he was named their 'Player of the season' following a great allround performance, having topped the bowling averages by taking 70 first class wickets at an average of 21.44 apiece and also scoring 403 runs at an average of 26.9. Vaas was released by Northants at the end of the 2012 season due to persistent injury problems throughout the year.

International Coach[edit]

In October 2012 he was contracted to coach the New Zealand fast bowlers during their tour of Sri Lanka, which included two Test matches.[9] In May 2013 he was appointed as bowling coach for the Sri Lankan side participating in the Champions Trophy competition in England.[4] He served as Sri Lanka's bowling coach until April 2015.

Chaminda Vass passing on some tips to Dhammika Prasad

In January 2016, Vaas was named as Ireland cricket team bowling coach. His short-term assignment includes two T20Is against United Arab Emirates cricket team in UAE and 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India.[10][11]

Personal life[edit]

Vaas is Roman Catholic and is known to pray before every game.[12][13] He intended to become a priest at a young age but believed that God wanted him to play cricket instead: "I seriously considered going into the priesthood, which would have meant 12 to 14 years of study. But then cricket began to take over. I think that God created me as a cricketer, so I am happy that that's my calling.".[14] He suffered some minor injuries during the 2009 attack on the Sri Lanka national cricket team bus by gunmen in Lahore which resulted in the abandonment of that Test series against Pakistan.

According to Bill Frindall, scorer and statistician for BBC Radio's Test Match Special, Chaminda is actually his penultimate given name, therefore his initials should read WPUJC.

Vaas was awarded the 3rd highest award in 1996 by the Sri Lankan government when he received the Deshabandu for his contribution to winning the world cup.

See also[edit]


External links[edit]