Mumbai Indians are set to miss the services of their legendary fast-bowler Lasith Malinga for the initial phase of the forthcoming Indian Premier League (IPL). Along with Lasith Malinga, his compatriot Isuru Udana, who will ply his trade for Royal Challengers Bangalore, will also miss the first few days of IPL 2020.
Both the players will miss the initial phase because of their participation in the inaugural season of the Lankan Premier League (LPL). Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) are yet to announce the final schedule for the tournament but local media reports have claimed that no Sri Lankan player will be allowed to leave mid-way for the IPL or any other tournament until the final of the LPL is held.
The tentative date for the final of the tournament is 20th September while the thirteenth edition of the IPL will start on September 19. Thus, both Lasith Malinga and Udana will only be able to leave for the UAE after the 20th of September. They will not be eligible to play in the IPL directly as they will have to serve a mandatory quarantine of 72 hours after arriving in the UAE . So, it is very likely that the Sri Lankan duo will miss the action in IPL 2020 by at least a week.
Lasith Malinga is an integral part of the Mumbai Indians and the defending champions will surely miss his services. The veteran pacer had starred with the ball when the Mumbai-based outfit won the league for a record fourth time last year. But Mumbai Indians do have enough firepower in their ranks. The likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan and Hardik Pandya form the franchise’s pace attack.
As far as Udana was concerned, he was gearing up for his first season in the IPL. Royal Challengers Bangalore had spent INR 50 lakhs during the previous action to secure the services of the Sri Lankan.