Vaas to retire from Tests

AP

Sri Lankan seamer Chaminda Vaas will retire from Test cricket after the third Test against Pakistan.

“Let me officially announce my retirement from Test cricket after playing the third Test match against Pakistan. I wish to continue playing ODIs and T20 till the 2011 World Cup,” Vaas told reporters.

The 35-year-old left-armer’s decision came days after his surprise inclusion in Sri Lanka’s squad for the final Test following a public row with chief selector Ashantha de Mel.

De Mel announced that Vaas would retire from Tests, to which the bowler reacted by saying he did not intend retiring soon. Vaas said he will explain this after the match.

Making his debut against Pakistan in 1995, Vaas went on to play 110 Test matches for his country, taking 354 wickets — the second highest wicket taker for Sri Lanka after Muttiah Muralitharan’s 770.

In his later years Vaas tuned his batting to become a useful all-rounder with more than 3,000 Test runs.

“It’s a sad day when such a great player goes out of Test cricket,” Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara said. “He has thought long and hard. Vaasy has got a great part to play in our one-day set up until the World Cup.”

Sangakkara praised Vaas’ success, mostly bowling on sub-continent pitches that are unresponsive to seam bowling. “Where spinners do well Vaasy had revelled,” Sangakkara said.

“No matter who replaces Vaasy in the line-up they will take years and years to reach the standards that he has set. May be they never will. He’s a true champion, probably the only Sri Lankan fast bowler (who is) a true legend of the game.”