Vaas denies retirement claim

GALLE: Veteran Sri Lankan seamer Chaminda Vaas on Saturday refuted the chief selector's claim that he wanted to retire from Test cricket, saying he had not taken any decision.

Chief selector Asantha de Mel had said earlier in the day that the 35-year-old left-armer did not want to play Test cricket, but was still available for one-day and Twenty20 cricket.

"Chaminda has told me he does not want to play Test cricket anymore but he will continue in the shorter formats," de Mel, a former Sri Lankan fast bowler, said.

Vaas, however, said he had not spoken to the selectors and denied he had made up his mind to quit.

"I have not retired from Test cricket," he told AFP. "I have not even spoken to de Mel or any other selector."

Vaas, a 110-Test veteran, was overlooked for the Test series against Pakistan which began at the Galle International Stadium on Saturday.

The selectors did not pick him even after spin master Muttiah Muralitharan was ruled out of the first Test due to a knee injury, leaving the Sri Lankan attack short of experience.

Vaas, who made his Test debut against Pakistan at Kandy in 1994, has claimed 354 wickets at an average of 29.40 with 12 five-wicket hauls, and twice took 10 wickets in a match.

He also has 400 wickets from 322 one-day internationals, including a hat-trick off the first three balls of the match against Bangladesh during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa.

De Mel, asked if Vaas will be picked in the one-day team after being ignored for the World Twenty20 in England last month, said no player could be guaranteed a place in the side.