Lasith Malinga has opted to play for Mumbai Indians over his Sri Lankan side, Southern Express in the upcoming Champions League Twenty20 cricket tournament, scheduled to be played in September hosted by India. Malinga led Southern Express side to the Super Fours title in Sri Lanka. Although he will not be playing for them in CLT20.

The talks with Malinga over the past few days been negotiated even on higher pay by the Express side, for his participation in the tournament for them, along with SLC.

Nishantha Ranatunga, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) Secretary said that the pacer had a chat with the officials and had claimed his wish to play for the Indian team.

We wanted him to play for Southern Express. But Malinga wanted to play for the Mumbai Indians,” Ranatunga said.

He said that according to the terms of the existing contracts entered by the SLC with IPL, Champions League and the local players, the players are being given the option to make their own choice about which team they should represent.

The announcement was done through a official release of SLC.

“As per the Team Participation Agreement of CLT20 2014, the decision on which team a player should represent is the sole prerogative of the player himself,” an SLC release said. “Accordingly, whilst expressing Sri Lanka Cricket’s preference for Lasith to represent the Southern Express Team, the Executive Committee left this decision at his sole discretion.”

The board now will also receive $150,000 from IPL team, Mumbai Indians as the sum a foreign franchise must pay the home team of a player who prefers to represent the foreign side at the CLT20 over home team. As the Southern Express side is owned by SLC, this sum will go to the board.