"There is no doubt that Malinga is one of the best in the world, and the best in Sri Lanka," said Vaas, who was in Mumbai inaugurating a local T20 tournament on April 23. "We depend on him as a bowler, and he showed his leadership qualities.
"He has given 100 per cent for the team. We have seen him playing in Mumbai (in the IPL) on one day and playing in Sri Lanka (in a domestic tournament) the next day. It shows the commitment he has, and the commitment he has to the team and the country. He will be the key for Sri Lanka cricket in the upcoming World Cup."
Sri Lanka had announced their squad for the World Cup last week, and Vaas agreed with the players that the selectors had chosen to represent the country.
“For the last few months, Sri Lanka hasn't done so well. But if you analyse the combination of the team which we picked for the World Cup, I'm pretty sure that the selectors have done the right thing," he said. "We have to take it from there, and it's up to the players to get themselves in and play well for the country."
Dimuth Karunaratne will captain the side in the World Cup, although he only last played an ODI match in 2015. And while Vaas agreed that it was not ideal that the team had seen so many different captains in the recent past, he was optimistic about the situation leading up to the World Cup.
"The selectors and Sri Lanka Cricket have put their trust in Dimuth, and given him an opportunity to captain the side. I'm pretty sure the team will unite and will do well in the upcoming World Cup," Vaas said.
Sri Lanka will play their opening match of the World Cup against New Zealand on June 1 in Cardiff.
First Published: April 24, 2019, 12:19 PM IST