Sri Lankan News

Sri Lanka’s Malinga put country before IPL cash

The veteran Sri Lankan bowler, Lasith Malinga was bought back by Mumbai Indians as a player for the Indian Premier League 2019. Lasith Malinga who was bought at the auction for INR 2 crore (£220,000) has ruled himself out of at least Mumbai’s first six games of the Indian Premier League.

It comes with Malinga keen to be part of Sri Lanka’s squad at this summer’s World Cup, being held in England.

Sri Lankan Selectors have made it mandatory for Sri Lanka players to participate in a 50-overs tournament at home if they want to be considered for selection in the 15-member squad for the May 30-July 14 World Cup in England and Wales.

That tournament runs from April 4 to April 11, with squads expected to be training for a few days before the action gets underway.

Sri Lanka’s limited-overs skipper Lasith Malinga says he is ready to sacrifice his earnings from the lucrative Indian Premier League (IPL) in order to win a place in the country’s World Cup squad.

“I had asked the board for the No-Objection Certificate for me to play in the IPL, and they had said that was fine, but that all players who want to go to the World Cup would need to stay back for the provincial tournament,” Malinga told ESPNcricinfo.

“So I told them I’d play in the provincial tournament, and I asked the board to inform Mumbai Indians and IPL, since it was their decision. I’m ok with losing those earnings from IPL. I’m doing it for the country.”

The 35-year-old fast bowler, who has taken the most wickets (154 in 110 matches) since the first edition of the IPL in 2008, was bought by the Mumbai franchise for 20 million Indian rupees ($289,184.50) in the January auction for the upcoming season.

He had worked as a bowling mentor for the same team after going unsold in 2018.

Malinga is currently leading the Sri Lanka limited-overs team in South Africa with one T20 match remaining in the series.

“Once I become available for Mumbai Indians, I would have missed seven or eight games,” Malinga added. “So there’s probably no point in them waiting around for me. Better for them to find someone else to replace me with.”

Lasith Malinga is currently in South Africa with Sri Lanka (Image: BCCI / MI)

Mumbai Indians caught unaware of Malinga’s unavailability!

MI head coach Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene explained that the franchise was caught by surprise by Malinga’s decision.

“If you read the entire thing, the tournament is for four or five days in April, so till that time, there’s availability. When we got him in the auction, SLC gave us his availability schedule, that tournament wasn’t part of that. So, there is a conversation to be made and once we get through that conversation we’ll let you know. It’s way too early for us to comment on whether he’s going to be unavailable or whatever. We’ll see what happens,” Jayawardene was quoted as saying by Times of India (TOI).


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