Recently, the all-time legendary Lasith Malinga called curtains on his ODI cricketing career. He is all set to bid adieu to the ODI format of the game after playing the first ODI game against Bangladesh back home. However, Malinga is happy to retire at this stage, as Sri Lanka is trying to build a young team.
Veteran Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga said Thursday he was “very happy” to make way for younger players as he calls time on his illustrious 15-year career in the 50-over format. Malinga will play his final one-day international in Colombo Friday in the first of three ODIs against Bangladesh but hopes to continue playing in the shorter T20 format.
Young players need to believe – Lasith Malinga
He will leave as Sri Lanka’s third-highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket with 335 wickets in 219 innings so far. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) have taken more wickets than Malinga in ODIs for Sri Lanka.
Since his 2004 debut against the United Arab Emirates, Malinga has played 225 ODIs and his unusual Slingy action and an ability to bowl yorkers have made him a formidable bowler in limited-overs cricket.
“I am very happy to leave at this time. This is an opportunity for new players to prove themselves and prepare for the next World Cup. We may have had some setbacks, but we have the capability to win another World Cup,” Lasith Malinga quoted.
“The young players need to believe that they can deliver. They need to be dedicated and develop to a level that they can decide for themselves when they go to the middle,” Malinga said to reporters.
Perhaps, Lasith Malinga is eyeing to play the T20 format of the game across the globe. He would likely to retire from the T20 International Cricket after the conclusion of upcoming ICC T20I World Cup 2020.