Vaas decides to call time on his Test career

Canny Lankan paceman to retire after the final Test against Pak

“I’m officially retiring from Test cricket after the third Test against Pakistan but will continue playing one-day and Twenty20 matches till the 2011 World Cup,” Vaas told reporters at the Sinhalese Sports Club.

Earlier this month, chief selector Asantha de Mel had revealed that Vaas had a discussion with him after the pacer had made up his mind to quit the longer version.

Vaas, however, went on to deny it and after being ignored for the first two Tests against Pakistan, the 35-year-old pacer was recalled to the Sri Lanka squad for the final match starting on Monday.

Sri Lanka captain Kumar Sangakkara, who had earlier announced that Vaas would get a farewell game, paid rich tributes to the pacer, only the third Sri Lankan after Sanath Jayasuriya and Muttiah Muralitharan to play more than 100 Tests.

“Vaasy is a true champion and probably the only Sri Lankan fast bowler who can be called a true legend of the game,” he said.

“Whoever replaces Vaasy in the bowling attack they will take years and years to reach the standards he has set -- and maybe they never will,” Sangakkara said.

“He has got a great part to play in our one-day set-up until the World Cup in 2011 and maybe beyond it as long as he is fit,” he said.

Since making his Test debut against Pakistan at Kandy in the year of 1994, the Mattumagala-born pacer has so far played 110 Tests, claiming 354 wickets at am average of 29.40 with 12 five-wicket hauls. He has also made 3085 Test runs at 24.48, including a century against Bangladesh.

In 322 one-dayers so far, Vaas has taken 400 wickets at 27.53, besides scoring 2025 runs. He has also played six Twenty20 Internationals.

The country’s most successful bowler after off-spinner Muralitharan, Vaas has a natural ability to swing and seam the ball and his grasp of reverse-swing also made him a lethal bowler.

Vaas took the first one-day eight-for against Zimbabwe, which included a hat-trick. He took another hat-trick in Sri Lanka’s 2003 World Cup match against Bangladesh.

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