Former India pace spearhead Zaheer Khan is reportedly in line to return to Indian Premier League as coach. According to Mumbai Mirror, the legendary pacer might join Mumbai Indians as their bowling mentor for the upcoming season.
If Zaheer does join Mumbai Indians, he will replace Lasith Malinga. The Sri Lanka star had joined the team as their bowling mentor after going unsold in the auction. However, Malinga, who recently returned to Sri Lanka’s ODI team, is now looking to play in the league again.
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“It is expected. Malinga has been playing other leagues of the world. He had even played for Sri Lanka in the Asia Cup, and he wants to test himself in the IPL which precedes the World Cup. He wants to play in the IPL to be match-fit for the World Cup,” an IPL insider was quoted as saying by The Mumbai Mirror.
Zaheer, meanwhile, is yet to make his coaching debut in the Indian Premier League. He, however, had plied his trade as mentor while playing for Delhi Daredevils. But it should be noted that he was not the official mentor of the team.
Zaheer was an integral part of the team that won the World Cup in 2011 and made it to the final in 2003. He was India’s top wicket-taker in both the editions. With 610 international wickets, Zaheer finished his career as one of India’s most successful bowlers. The left-arm pacer was the fourth-highest wicket-taker for India across formats. He also has the second-highest wickets tally – 311 – for an India pacer in Tests, behind the legendary Kapil Dev’s 434. He is also regarded as the best reverse swing bowler from India.
Meanwhile, Mahela Jayawardene currently heads the backroom staff of Mumbai Indians. The franchise’s staff also consists of Sachin Tendulkar (Icon), Robin Singh, Shane Bond, James Pamment, Paul Chapman, Rahul Sanghvi and others.