The Friends Provident T-20 Association of English cricket has chosen the Lankan all-rounder Chaminda Vaas as the best country T-20 player for the 2010 season.
At a gala dinner held in England where more than 700 guests were present last week, Vaas who represented Northamptonshire in the English T-20 county championship accepted his accolade. Besides the T-20 player of the year, the Association also chose the 4-day county championship player of the year and also the Pro-40 player of the year for the season that just ended.
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 412 runs and bagging 23 wickets.
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.
This feat of his has prompted the Northamptonshire administration to extend its invitation to the Lankan all-rounder for the 2011 season too. A beaming Vaas told the Sunday Times: “This time they have extended the invitation for the entire English County season which will cover the 4-day County Championships, the Pro-40 championship and also the T-20 tournament.
“The English Country Cricket starts in April, this may overlap the Indian Premier League Tournament and so if I am engaged in the IPL, I will join the English County only after the IPL tournament. However, during this time if the Lankan selectors want me to do national duty that will precede all other engagements”.
It is also understood that Vaas who is currently training with the national squad will be kept in the national loop up to the 2011 Word Cup.Vaas signed for Northants in May, primarily for the Friends Provident T20 although he made two first class County Championship (sponsored by LV=) appearances.
Vaas finished the T-20 competition, after defeat at Taunton in the quarters, with 412 runs and 23 wickets. He hit four fifties, 45 fours and 11 sixes to earn 92 batting points. With the ball, he conceded runs at a miserly 6.33 runs-per-over, taking three-wicket hauls on three occasions.
The Sri Lankan was one of only three players to average more than 13 points per game. He averaged 13.27, Adam Gilchrist 13.13 and Ryan 10. Doeschate, who ripped a calf muscle batting at Taunton, topped the points-per-game average with 17.13.
Vaas is the first overseas player to win the coveted title, with previous winners being Darren Stevens, Graham Napier and Luke Wright.