Chaminda Vaas is considered one of the greatest fast bowlers that Sri Lanka ever produced. He led their bowling attack for several years with his solid swing and pace bowling. Born on January 27, 1974, in Mattumagala, Vaas is known for his highly accurate lines and lengths. The left-arm fast-medium bowler is arguably one of the best new-ball bowlers and his trademark delivery was the late indipper. On his 49th Birthday, let us look at the top 5 unknown facts of the former Sri Lanka spearhead.
1. Best-ever figures in ODIs
Former Sri Lankan seamer Chaminda Vaas holds the record for the best-ever figures in the history of ODIs. He took eight wickets for 19 runs in eight overs with three maidens against Zimbabwe in Colombo (SSC) in 2001. He got rid of eight out of the top nine Zimbabwean players as the visitors got blown away by his magical spell. They got dismissed for a shambolic 38 as the hosts won the game with Vaas winning the POTM award. It still remains one of the best-ever performances by a bowler in the 50-overs format.
2.One of the longest names in international cricket
The second most successful bowler for Sri Lanka with 760 wickets in international cricket, the legendary pacer has an unusually long name in world cricket. It has five initials to his name ‘WPUJC’ which transcribes to Warnakulasuriya Patabendige Ushantha Joseph Chaminda Vaas. With 52 characters, he is known to have one of the biggest and longest names in the sport of cricket. Notably, Chaminda actually happens to be his penultimate given name.
3.Dismissing Sachin Tendulkar nine times in ODIs
Vaas has dismissed former India legend Sachin Tendulkar for a record nine times in ODIs. It is the joint-most by any bowler in the history of ODIs with Australia’s Brett Lee and South Africa’s Shaun Pollock also getting rid of Sachin as many times in the format. Across formats, the batting maestro got out 12 times against Vaas in a period between 1994 to 2008. Out of the nine ODI dismissals, one was the Coca-Cola Champions Trophy final in Sharjah in 2000 when India got bundled out for a paltry 54.
4.Hat-trick on the first three balls of a match
Vaas also holds a special record of picking up a hat-trick on the first three deliveries of an international match. He achieved the rarest of rare feats against Bangladesh in the 2003 WC in Pietermaritzburg. He dismissed Hannan Sarkar, Mohammad Ashraful, and Ehsanul Haque on the first three consecutive balls of the opening over. Vaas remains the first and only bowler to claim a hat-trick on the first three balls of any form of international cricket. Notably, Vaas has two hat tricks in ODIs with the other one coming against Zimbabwe in 2001.
As a kid, Vaas had given some serious thought to becoming a priest. The former Sri Lankan ace revealed that he nearly dedicated his life to God before becoming a successful fast bowler. A strict Roman Catholic, Vaas originally planned to become a priest and even attended a seminary for a few months until fate intervened. But it was God’s decision to make him play cricket as he also claimed that he always prayed before playing any match.