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October 26, 2012
New Zealand has taken on Chaminda Vaas as their assistant bowling coach for the two-match Test series in Sri Lanka. He will assist Shane Bond, who was appointed bowling coach last week, for the last part of their five-week tour, which begins with the one-off Twenty20 international on October 30.
"We wanted someone with experience in the subcontinent to work with our young bowlers. [Chaminda] Vaas will work alongside bowling coach Shane Bond during the Tests," New Zealand coach Mike Hesson told reporters in Colombo on Friday. "Vaas' extensive playing experience in local conditions will provide valuable input, as we plan and prepare for the Test series. An important part of his brief will be to provide tactical advice to the bowling unit, especially our contingent of left-arm seamers.
"In terms of professional development, it's a great opportunity for Shane Bond to work alongside a different style of coach and I'm sure he'll benefit from the experience."
Vaas, Sri Lanka's second-highest wicket-taker in Tests and ODIs, said he was eager to work with the likes of Doug Bracewell, Chris Martin and Tim Southee, and the left-arm trio - Trent Boult, James Franklin and Neil Wagner.
"I am pleased to have the chance to work with an international team, particularly a side like New Zealand [which has] such a large number of talented young fast bowlers," he said. "I feel my recent experience as a player and understanding of conditions in the subcontinent will benefit the team."
Ahead of their last full tour of Sri Lanka in 2009, New Zealand hired former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq as a consultant, to help their spin bowlers as well as advise the batsmen on how to play spin in the subcontinent, a trend that Hesson, the new man in charge, has followed.
"When we tour a number of countries, we try to access specialists," Hesson said. "When we play in the subcontinent the conditions are very foreign, so we need to learn. We try to take every opportunity that we can. We are very open to get people on short term basis and hopefully it will work."
Following the one-off T20 and the five-match ODI series, the Test series begins in Galle on November 17.
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