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As Sri Lanka began their journey in this Champions Trophy, the onus was on Lasith Malinga to lead Sri Lanka’s bowling attack and be the fulcrum of that bowling attack. The pace legend was making his comeback into this particular format after a really long time and all eyes were fixed upon him. Despite not being in the best of fitness and form, Malinga did a reasonable job for the Sri Lankans, and a played a key role in that win over India, as he dismissed a well-set Rohit Sharma.
Against Pakistan too, Malinga almost won Sri Lanka the game, when he foxed Sarfaraz Ahmed into giving an easy catch. Only that catch was entirely messed up by Thisara Perera, which cost Sri Lanka the semi-final spot ultimately.
After returning home from England, Malinga spoke to the press and admitted his ambition to play the 2019 World Cup.
“At 33, I find it difficult to do the things I’m used to doing,” Malinga said. “I do still have the desire to take wickets whenever I bowl, but maybe I’m not a match-winning bowler anymore. I played a one-dayer after 19 months.”
“Before that, I hadn’t bowled more than four overs. I was happy I was able to play, but I’m not that satisfied with my bowling because I couldn’t win a match for the team this time. But the other bowlers did well, though losses do occur,” the pacer further added.
Malinga concluded by mentioning that if the selectors backed him, he was more than willing to play the 2019 World Cup in England. “I’m looking forward to playing on in the format – as long as I’m good enough to play in the team. If the selectors choose me for the next World Cup, I’m ready to play.”