Northeastern youth-pacemen get tips from Chaminda Vaas

 Ranjan Anandappa, in Sunday Observer, 28 April 2013

chaminda-vaas-918635 In the quest of strengthening the Sri Lankan fast bowling armoury which cannot be considered the best at the moment, former Sri Lanka left arm fast bowler Chaminda Vaas is exploring the possibility of having a formidable set of speedsters for the future. Five talented medium pace bowlers from the north were specially brought down to Colombo by Vaas under the instructions of his former fast bowling colleague Ravindra Pushpakumara, who is in charge of fast bowlers in the Jaffna district.

This is not the first time that fast bowlers from the north and the east have emerged in the local cricket arena. In the past there were some lively fast bowlers from the northern province to name a few, the late Donald Ganeshkumar (Police), Anton Benedict (BRC) and R. Naguleswaran (CCC) who were fit enough to gain national honours. But with the ethnic problem and the civil war, the influx of cricketers from the north and the east gradually came to a standstill.  And now with the thirty year conflict ending, the Sri Lanka Cricket are on a hunt of spotting potential pace bowlers from the North and also from the East. In time to come, hopefully there should be a couple fast bowlers from the two provinces.

The five bowlers namely, Kamala Yogeswaran Silogan of (Kokuvil Hindu College), Jaybalasingham Jananjan (Mahajana College), K. Kadijeepan (Mahajana College), M. Perera (Fatima College, Mannar), Emmanuel Rekson (St. Xavier’s College, Mannar) were specially summoned to the Khettarama Stadium ‘nets’ for a close look by the bowling coach Vaas who was conducting one of his bowling clinics.

Vaas said that the five bowlers looked good, but reminded that they will have to go through the vigourous training process if they are to reach the top levels. Among the five bowlers, Kamala Yogeswaran Silogan was very impressive and proper guidance and hard work should take him far. The biggest drawback for the bowlers are learning to bowl on turf pitches.

There isn’t a single turf strip in Jaffna and bowling on turf pitches is something new for the lads from the Northern and the Eastern Provinces as they have been used to the matting strip.

“To produce fast bowlers, the process should begin during the early stages when the players are somewhere around 15 to 20 years old. That’s where the fast bowlers at school level come into play.

Muscle building at the early stage will help a fast bowler very much for the future,” said Vaas. “While at school, most of the coaches try to change the natural action of a bowler at times which could end in disaster. They should monitor their natural ability and build on that. Pace bowling is not pace alone, one could be the fastest bowler on the planet, but if he cannot bowl consistently on a line and length it is of no use.”

“For the pacemen it is one hundred percent fitness, patience and the ability to think is the key for success,” stressed Vaas.

Chaminda-Vaas-001-getty Pic courtesy of Getty Images

Chaminda Vaas who was classed as a potential Test fast bowler during his early playing days at St. Joseph’s College, Colombo was easily the most successful fast bowler in the Sri Lanka cricket history. In 111 Test matches he has taken 355 Test wickets and is only the other Sri Lankan bowler to take over 300 Test wickets behind off spinner Muththiah Muralitharan who holds the all-time bowling world record of 800 Test wickets. Vaas in his 322 ODIs has taken 400 wickets.

It was the New Zealanders who first sought the assistance of Vaas while they toured Sri Lanka late last year to get used to the Sri Lankan conditions which Vaas did successfully and the Kiwis squared the series 1/1 winning the second of the two Test series played at the P. Sara Stadium convincingly. Vaas said that in that Test which he was involved with, the visitors fast bowlers there were nothing extraordinary, but the Kiwi pacemen struck to their job quite admirably and bowled line and length at a good pace. The Kiwi fast bowlers had the good physique and the thinking ability to rattle their opponents.

Vaas concluded saying that some present day fast bowlers are a bit different as they have the ability to disguise a good slow delivery to baffle the batsmen.    

    ******** murali cup pic a scene from the Murali Cup in the north, September 2012 [and that is Pissu Percy’s broad back that you see with flag]

Also google “Murali Cup”

ravi pushpakumaraNOTE: when I visited Jaffna in June 2010 ona political investigation i was driected to St john’s College cricket grounds in order tomeet the Vice Principal 9a contact for some specific inquiry) … and, lo and behold, I was greeted by Malcolm Perera, then a Coaching Director at SLC, because there was a  trial match for U19 lads which SLC was conducting. He then introduced me to Ravi Karuppaiyage Pushpakumara [whose father  is from “Indian Tamil” stock  in Kalutara District]. It is good to see that RAVI is working assiduously. More strength to is melows and mind.

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