Dubai: Former Sri Lankan left-arm pacer turned coach Chaminda Vaas believes that fitness is key in today’s cricket to be successful.
Speaking to Gulf News, Vaas, who is here to launch his academy which will be known as Vaas’s Victoria Cricket Academy, said: “If you want to play cricket you have to give 100 per cent for fitness, because fitness will decide how long you can play and anyone who wants to play Test cricket has to be extremely fit. Test cricket is all about testing your skills while playing for five continuous days. If you are physically strong only then you will be mentally strong too.“
Vaas had bagged 355 wickets in Test cricket and 400 wickets in one-day cricket and was known for destroying batting line-ups by producing hat-tricks. When asked what was the secret behind such deadly spells and consistency, Vaas said: “I always followed three Ds — Determination, Devotion and Dedication — and if you apply those three you can be perform well as a cricketer. In fact I have come to UAE as there are many talented Indian, Pakistan and Sri Lankan boys here. I feel I can develop their skills and also educate them to get the best out of them.”
Vaas’ academy will be located in Sharjah Madina Cricket Academy premises and will start coaching from December 4 supported by Level 1 coach of National Cricket Academy of India Manpreet Singh Sidhu and ICC Level 1 coaches Vinod Nayar, Rukmal Vaas and Satish Kumar. UAE World Cup player Krishna Chandran is also in the coaching team.
Vaas then talked about Sri Lanka cricket at length to Gulf News, especially on the phase after the retirement of Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara. “Sri Lanka cricket is going through a transition period. Mahela and Sanga had given so much for Sri Lanka. It is now up to the youngsters to get into their shoes and perform. I think the young blood has taken up the challenge and are playing well. They are trying their best to do everything that Mahela and Sanga did for Sri Lanka cricket.”
Vaas hailed spinner Rangana Herath’s fine performance recently against the West Indies. “Rangana is a good servant for Sri Lanka cricket and he has done tremendously well. His enthusiam to do well for Sri Lanka cricket is what is keeping him going.”
Are there more Vaas coming out of Sri Lankan cricket?
“There are plenty of fast bowlers in schools and club cricket who can fill my shoes but it is up to our cricket board to identify them and get them into shape by motivating them and getting best out of them.”
Vaas then went on to speak about how he used to take hat-tricks and run through batting line-ups. “I always gave 100 per cent during practice. I always trained hard with discipline and commitment so that is why I got the line and length and every time and I could put the ball where I wanted to and swing it. That was my strength and I am really happy what I did in the past.”
Vaas concluded by saying that the key to pacer Lasith Malinga’s future will also be fitness: “Malinga is only 31 and as I said before fitness is the key and if he can concentrate on his fitness, I can see him play for four to five years more for Sri Lanka.”