Chaminda Vaas has been appointed Sri Lanka Cricket's fast-bowling consultant, fifteen months after his contract as the national team's bowling coach lapsed. The focus of his new role will be on identifying and developing fast-bowling talent from around the country, rather than on working specifically with the national team.
Sri Lanka's cricket consultant Aravinda de Silva had been the primary force behind the appointment, and said it was important for the board to tap into skills of its former players.
"I've been trying to get a few former cricketers to agree to work with us," he said. "When I spoke with Vaas, he was very keen. We feel he will be really good working with some of our young cricketers, from the grassroots levels. He'll work with fast bowlers from around the country, identify talent, get them in to work with the under-19, development and A team squads, which feed into the national team."
Though SLC is yet to announce concrete plans for a provincial first-class tournament, de Silva outlined a vision to use SLC's coaches more liberally in the districts further afield from Colombo's cricket hub. Both Vaas and new fielding coach Nic Pothas will be expected to travel widely in their roles, spotting talent and buttressing coaching work.
"We want our coaches to go deep into the district and provincial levels, and also to help the clubs," de Silva said. "If any coach in a club needs some assistance, we're happy to allocate some of the bowling coaches to go and spend some time with those relevant clubs. We want to put some schedules together so they can go right around the country - Vaas' job will be one of those. He will be a floating coach who will go around and do the identification."
Vaas, who was with the national team for just over a year, is the latest in a slew of high-profile coaching appointments from the present administration. This board had already installed Graham Ford as head coach, Simon Willis as high performance manager and Pothas as fielding coach.
Pothas began his tenure on August 8, and said existing relationships with Ford, Willis and trainer Michael Main would ease his transition. "I've known Graham Ford for a very long time, and I've had the pleasure over the years of actually playing under Graham Ford," he said. "I've known Simon Willis from the UK, and Michael Main was the strength and conditioning coach when I worked at Hampshire, so there are a lot of friends and a lot of familiar faces.
"[I'm hoping to] change the fielding culture here, and bring about a change in the language we use around fielding. It's the part of the game where we spend most of our time. You can get a good delivery or a bad decision as a batsman, but you can still influence the game with your fielding. I've always seen fielding as the way that you show your teammates how much you care about them."