Vaas and Sanath back at training

Three side games, one T-20 and three ODIs in Australia; Windies venues still not confirmed

By S.R. Pathiravithana

After his impressive performance for the English county Northamptonshire, Sri Lanka’s veteran seamer Chaminda Vaas -- the most successful bowler after Muttiah Muralitharan -- is training with the national squad which is preparing for the tour of Australia next month.Vaas who turned out for Northamptonshire in their pro T-20 tournament played 17 matches. After batting low in the order in the first three matches, Vaas opened the batting in the next fourteen matches making 415 runs and bagging 25 wickets.

Sanath Jayasuriya

His best effort came against the strong Durham XI. He scored a 49-ball 73 that contained a six and eleven fours in a score of 164. In the same match Vaas bagged his best capturing 3 for 23.

Speaking to the Sunday Times Vaas said, “I am happy that they invited me to train with the rest of the lads, but, nothing is finalized yet. The squad proper for the tour may be selected later on.”

Vaas in full flow for Northamptonshire

Selection Committee Chairman Aravinda de Silva commenting on the matter said, “Yes, they are training with the national squad at present, but, nothing is finalised. We do need some bowlers also at the nets and as there aren’t any club practices on, it is good that they too can find the time to train here. We will be selecting the pool proper only on or about next Sunday.

However with the current Lankan left arm seam operators – Chanaka Welagedera and Isuru Udana not delivering their goods to internationals standards, there is a likelihood that the selectors may turn their antennas towards the sixteen season veteran Vaas who did well during the current English season.

Vaas also confirmed that that former Sri Lanka opener Sanath Jayasuriya is also attending these practice sessions. Both Veterans have indicated that they would hang up their boots after the 2011 World Cup.

The Lankan team is due to take wing Down Under on October 17 and open their tour against Queensland on Friday October 22 at the Brisbane Cricket Ground, Woolloongabba. Their second tour match will be on Sunday, October 24 against New South Wales at the Sydney Cricket Grounds. Then the Lankans will play a second Limited Overs game against the same opposition on Wednesday October 27 at Blacktown Olympic Park Oval, Sydney, before switching on to the serious half of the tour.

Sri Lankans will open their international series against Australia with a T-20 affair on Sunday October 31 at the Western Australia Cricket Association Ground, Perth.

The first of the three One-day Internationals will be played on Wednesday November 3 at the Melbourne Cricket grounds while the second ODI will be played on November 5 in Sydney. The Lankans would conclude their Australian tour at the end of the third ODI which will take place at the GABBA on Sunday November 7.

Back in Sri Lanka the Lankan cricketers will immediately host the West Indies in their last international engagement prior to the 2011 World Cup. However according to a spokesman of the SLC the given itinerary may change. The three Test matches would be played in Kandy, Colombo and Galle with the venues yet to be finalized.

So far the announced itinerary (subject to change) reads as:
Thu. Nov 11 - Sat Nov 13 SLC representative Xl v West Indies
Pallekele International Cricket Stadium
Tue Nov. 16 - Sat Nov 20 1st Test - Sri Lanka v West Indies
Rangiri Dambulla International Stadium
Wed. Nov 24 – Sun. Nov 28 2nd Test - Sri Lanka v West Indies
Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Wed. Dec. 1 - Sun Dec 5 3rd Test - Sri Lanka v West Indies
P Sara Oval, Colombo
Thu. Dec. 9 1st ODI - Sri Lanka v West Indies Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota
Sat. Dec. 11 2nd ODI - Sri Lanka v West Indies Mahinda Rajapaksa International Cricket Stadium, Sooriyawewa, Hambantota
Tue. Dec. 14 3rd ODI - Sri Lanka v West Indies Galle International Stadium
Fri. Dec. 17 4th ODI - Sri Lanka v West Indies Sinhalese Sports Club Ground, Colombo
Sun. Dec. 19 5th ODI - Sri Lanka v West Indies R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo
Tue. Dec. 21 Only T20I - Sri Lanka v West Indies R. Premadasa Stadium, Colombo

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