Man for all seasons
Chaminda Vaas rocked the South African batsmen in the second innings in the 2nd test match with amazing figures of 6 for 29 to help Sri Lanka to their first test series win against the Proteas. He won the man of the series award. Here Bernie Wijesekera talks to the Sri Lankan star fast bowler after his match winning spell at SSC.

He started the conversation by saying that 'All his team mates contributed for this magnificent win. That too was without the "Champion Bowler" Muttiah Muralitharan.

Q: Who helped you and coached you to become the bowling all rounder now you are?
Quite a number of people had a hand. As a kid my first, coach was Carlton Bernadus - the Josephian cricket coach. As a schoolboy I had to face setbacks and I faced them courageously.

As a juvenile I joined Colts CC. Then it was Roy Dias who guided me with kind words. Discipline was his code word. As for my bowling former Sri Lankan bowler Rumesh Ratnayake fathomed my rhythm. Of course I had a stint with the M.R.F. bowling Academy handled by Dennis Lillee. He geared me to reach stardom and recommended me to serve Sri Lanka Cricket. The present fast bowling coach Champaka Ramanayake, too assisted me. I am grateful to them.

Q: Today you have become an asset to the Sri Lanka team as an all-rounder. Your batting has improved not merely as a run-chaser, but has shown abundant batting skills.
Nothing is impossible if one has total commitment. I worked hard at the nets and improved my technique.

Q: Now you have excellent concentration and you have put up couple of test 50's, what about a 'ton'?
Given the opportunity I will try to get it in the near future.
Kumar Sangakkara who partnered Chaminda Vaas in a heroic match winning stand in the second test against South Africa was adjudged man of the match. He praised Vaas's batting skills and thanked Vaas for his unstinted support in the middle. South African skipper Graeme Smith, also commended Vaas' bowling. He said 'Vaas fathomed out beautifully on the moisture-laden pitch in the early part of the first session on the final day to destroy our batting'.

Q: As a fielder you are second to none. Got more roasties like Jonty Rhodes (in your arm).
One need not have a fielding coach (malice to none). if you work hard on your own. That's what Johnty Rhodes did.

Q: You proved to be a good bowler on any track. As a batsman you fight with determination when the chips are down. Any comments?
Tougher the going its better for me. Nothing is impossible if one has total commitment. Excuses are not the answer.

Q: You were either advising or talking to rookie Lasitha Malinga on the field.
The seniors must drive the side and assist the newcomers to go places. Malinga is a green horn and he needs communication. He has much to learn.

Q: How about your family life?
My wife and my two kids are a source of inspiration to me. I have a girl and a boy. I will teach them how I came up in life during the good and bad times

Q: Are you helping your old school?
Yes, I am helping them in whatever way. Today I am something in life thanks to St. Joseph's College and for my parents, who laid the stepping stone. But not forgetting my well-wishers, too.


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