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Just one day ahead of Sri Lankan World Cup squad selection, the senior pacer Lasith Malinga has indicated to retire from international cricket just before the upcoming World Cup.
The national selectors are set to meet on Thursday (18th April) evening to select the 15-member Sri Lankan squad for the upcoming World Cup.
According to media reports, Lasith Malinga sent a message to the players’ group on Wednesday (17th April) morning where he indicated to not return to the national squad.
He sent that message in the Sinhala language, where he wrote, “api bima naevata piyava gaeniata samat ve tanapativarayet. deviyan vaanse mata pitupasin ma sahaya kala siyalu denatama asirvada” (we won’t be able to meet again on the ground. God bless to everyone who was behind me and supporting me. Blessings)
The 35-year-old right-arm pacer sent that message at 11:22 a.m. One hour earlier of that message, he had a call from the chief selector Ashantha de Mel.
According to the sources, the chief selector asked him for his availability in the upcoming World Cup only as a pacer, not as a captain. After that conversation, Lasith Malinga sent that message to his national teammates.
Later, on the same day, the Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) announced the new ODI captain for the upcoming World Cup. The current Test captain Dimuth Karunaratne will lead the Sri Lankan side in the forthcoming World Cup. However, the 30-year-old cricketer hasn’t played an ODI match since the 2015 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Lasith Malinga had a poor record in his recent captaincy tenure
In last January, the national selectors appointed Lasith Malinga as the limited-overs captain. However, Sri Lanka failed to win a game this year under his captaincy. While he led the Sri Lankan side this year in 12 limited-overs matches, they suffered defeats in all matches, including one in Super Over.
Lasith Malinga has led the national side in nine ODIs, and they suffered defeats in all those matches.
According to the Deccan Chronicle source, the selectors still can select Lasith Malinga in the World Cup squad. If the senior pacer later backs out officially, they have enough time to replace him.
Sri Lanka will begin their World Cup journey on 1st June
England and Wales will host the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup from 30th May to 14th July. A total of ten teams, including the 1996 World Cup winners Sri Lanka, will participate in this tournament. Sri Lanka will begin their upcoming World Cup journey on 1st June against New Zealand at Cardiff.