While not totally unexpected, Lasith Malinga going unsold in the IPL auction was still a surprise, as the IPL legend’s days at the highest level may finally be numbered.
The all-time leading wicket taker in IPL history, Malinga’s powers have been on the wane for the past few years, as there has been a gradual decrease in the Sri Lankan’s proficiency with the ball .
Known to swing the bowl both ways, Malinga’s strongest weapon was his yorker, as he possessed one of the best yorkers in world cricket.
With a wonderful slower ball to boot, Malinga’s three-pronged attack was at times unplayable, as he rightly claimed the title as the greatest bowler in IPL history.
But he will not be seen in next year’s IPL, as Malinga was by-passed by all eight teams in the auction. Even Mumbai Indians did not go back in for him, as we will no longer hear the ‘Malinga Malinga’ chants emanate around the Wankhede stadium.
Speaking to Sunday Times, this is what Malinga had to say,
“If my services are not required any longer as a player, it’s time to move on. I know there’s still cricket left in me and if I cannot contribute as a player, I am ready to venture into mentoring leading up to the World Cup.”
“If someone calls me today and says ‘Look, we would like to have you within our coaching team for the World Cup’, I am ready to accept it. Not because of anything but I want to share my knowledge with others when I can.”
In all probability, Malinga is likely to hang up his boots very soon, as the Lankan pacer will bid adieu to the beautiful game.
Malinga was an integral cog in the Sri Lankan side that dominated the international scene between 2007 to 2014. Sri Lanka’s highly gifted core of Sangakara, Dilshan, Jayawardena and Malinga formed the foundation of the team’s success in that period.
While they lost several tournament finals, the tiny island nation finally lifted an international trophy when they won the 2014 T20 World Cup, in which Malinga once again starred for his nation.
Malinga was also an indispensable part of the MI setup, as they lifted three IPL trophies in the last decade. While he leaves the IPL stage for now, Malinga leaves behind a rich legacy that has earned him a permanent spot in the hearts of Mumbaikars.
Thanks for the memories Lasith!