Sri Lanka’s spearhead bowler Lasith Malinga captaincy is in doubt for the World T20 because of injury to his knee. Malinga only played 1 game in the recently concluded Asia Cup 2016. He might miss the first match on March 17. Sri Lankan team will leave for India on Tuesday as Malinga will stay in Sri Lanka to receive treatment to his knee. Due to his injury, he is likely to step down as the captain of the team.
His injury meant he missed out on the tour to New Zealand in January and also missed the T20 series against India. Malinga gave an indication that the World T20 will be his final tournament for Sri Lanka. In the Asia Cup 2016, he played against UAE and did not play in the rest of the tournament due to that injury.
Malinga’s absence as a bowler will be a big blow for Sri Lanka in the World T20. Sri Lanka are in group one along with England, South Africa, West Indies and a qualifier. His quality as a bowler makes him a special bowler. , Mathews has replaced Malinga for the World T20 and also will lead in all three formats also.
Malinga’s injury has weakened the Sri Lankan bowling. The Sri Lankan bowling attack looks inexperienced. The Sri Lankan team has to play their best cricket if they have to defend the World T20 title that they won in 2014. Malinga has been a top class bowler in the World and if he misses the tournament then Sri Lanka team might not defend the title. Malinga led Sri Lanka to title in 2014. Since then the form of Sri Lankan team has gone down.
The recovery period of Malinga has been longer than initially stated which a worry for Sri Lankan fans.
“He will continue to make himself available for selection,” de Silva said.
It is speculated that the SLC management is unhappy with Malinga’s policy of selecting games and tournaments to play based on his recurring injury.