Vaas bemoans Lanka’s first class system | Sunday Observer

Vaas bemoans Lanka’s first class system

Chaminda Vaas with Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep.
Chaminda Vaas with Sri Lanka fast bowler Nuwan Pradeep.

PALLEKELE: Sri Lanka’s interim fast bowling coach Chaminda Vaas bemoaned the country’s domestic first-class system and warned that unless pitches are made to suit fast bowlers they would soon become a dying breed.

“We can’t be satisfied with the way first-class cricket is played. We need to make first-class cricket work for fast bowlers. We talk a lot about what ails first-class cricket, but no matter how much we talk, the issue hasn’t moved forward,” said Vaas at the end of the first day of the third Test against India.

“If we want to develop our cricket and increase the number of fast bowlers we have – if we want to do justice to our cricket - we need to make pitches that are suited to fast bowlers. If we do that I trust that our bowlers would be better off than they are now,” he said.

There are several clubs in Sri Lanka’s domestic cricket that resort to making pitches to suit spin and even open the bowling with spinners thus shutting out a fast bowler from developing his skills. This is done in order to win matches and to win titles so that coach may retain his position. It’s also happening at schools level.

Vaas was answering questions to what ails our fast bowlers who tend to break down often and the lack of experience some of them have. “Players like Lahiru Kumara and Vishwa Fernando need to play more. If you take our first-class cricket, they don’t have enough first-class experience to play well,” said Vaas.

“If you take quicks from any country, they start bowling well after they have played 20-25 Tests only. We can’t suddenly expect a lot from Vishwa and Lahiru Kumara. But it’s with their mindset that they can improve. They need to practice a lot and play a lot of games. With that match experience only they will develop.”

The former Lankan pace ace said that he was not happy the way the two quicks bowled in the first session but praised them for their efforts in the afternoon.

“I’m not happy with the way the fast bowlers bowled in the morning. They bowled here and there. I’m not giving excuses. These guys are inexperienced. Vishwa is playing his second game and Lahiru his sixth. They didn’t bowl well. After lunch they came back strongly and bowled pretty well,” said Vaas.

“We have good fast bowlers, but Sri Lanka Cricket needs to wait for some time. They need to give some time to these fast bowlers. They haven’t played much cricket. If you see the Indian fast bowlers they have played about sixty games. We need to be patient to get the result from the fast bowlers.”

Vaas who bore the brunt of the Lankan fast bowling during his playing days and hardly suffered a major injury in his career said that fast bowlers need to managed properly to keep them free of injuries.

“One thing is how we manage them in practices and the amount of cricket they play. The other thing is fitness. We need to manage them. We need to look after them,” said Vaas.

“Being a fast bowler – the way I coped up and the way I bowled in nets and matches is different to some of the youngsters right now. We need to find out their body type and treat them in a different way, and take them into the future.”

When questioned why our fast bowlers are used in short spells, Vaas replied, “One thing is in Sri Lanka it’s not easy to bend your back and bowl in this heat. You have to try and get the maximum out of fast bowlers. We are playing only two fast bowlers in the team and when that happens, you need to go with the short spells and try to bowl right throughout the innings.”

Vaas said that Sri Lanka needed to find some answers to why they can’t have batsmen who could also bowl.

“We have some bowling all-rounders. What happened was when the bowling all-rounders become batsmen, we expect them to bat in the middle without bowling. We need to groom them as all-rounders.”