Fast bowlers are rare species when it comes to being in public memory for a long time. Chaminda Vaas belongs to that list. The former Sri Lanka pacer had a fruitful, 15-year long international career where he claimed 761 international wickets before hanging his boots in 2009.
Chaminda Vaas at the Air India ground in Kalina yesterday. Pic/Atul Kamble
Apart from a handful of them, modern-age pacers arrive on the international stage with a bang, but fade out in quickly.
Why be so rigid?
Vaas felt fitness has become very technical. "Yes, fast bowlers do hit the gym a lot these days, but apart from that, it (fitness) has become very, very technical for them to follow. It is important to manage your workload with Test, ODI and T20 cricket," said Vaas during a chat at the Air-India ground in Kalina yesterday. Vaas is in the city where he will turn out for Ghatkopar Jets in the Mitsui Mitsui Shoji T20 League.
Vaas, 42, who still looks as fit as he was in his playing days, felt the modern-day methods of training do not leave the bowlers with enough scope to do anything out-of-the-box. "I took to fitness at a very young age when I was 11 or 12. I knew if you give 100 per cent to fitness, you have a better chance of doing well in your career. I used to climb trees to fetch coconuts, go cycling and do various other things. I still do it whenever I go to my hometown (Mattumagala)," Vaas said.
Follow the Aussies
Vaas highlighted the example of Perth Scorchers, who have adopted out-of-the-box training methods to prepare for the Big Bash in Australia. "They start their preparation four months in advance. They have 100m and 200m sprint sessions thrice in a week. They do kick-boxing, cycling and other activities. The players have to update their diet chart of what they ate and drank during the day. The players have to be honest in this so the trainer accordingly prepares their fitness plans," said Vaas.
Vaas, who was Sri Lanka's bowling coach till last year before brief stints with New Zealand and Ireland, said the Sri Lankan board needs to be patient with players and coaches to get the desired results. "We want quick results. We are always thinking of winning tomorrow's game and not thinking of doing well in the future. If something goes wrong with the players, the coach is the first person to be sacked.
"When I was coming up in the team, if the player did something wrong, he would be out of the team. It is the other way round now. Players will survive and coaches (will be sacked). It is important to give some time to the players and coaches to emerge as a unit to be successful," Vaas said.