Lasith Malinga will retire after first Bangladesh ODI. His curtain call will come at Colombo on the July 26 after 15 years of International Cricket.
Lasith Malinga is set to retire from International Cricket after a glorious career that spanned 15 years. A brilliant servant for Sri Lankan Cricket and a glowing ambassador of the game in general, Lasith Malinga will retire after the first ODI against Bangladesh.
The news was confirmed by Sri Lankan Captain Dimuth Karunaratne in a press conference on July 22. The Lankan skipper said:
“He is going to play the first match. After that he is retiring. That’s what he said to me. I don’t know what he said for the selectors but for me he said he is playing only one match.”
According to Karunaratne, this will give the team the chance to identify their next line of wicket taking bowlers.
“Our biggest problem is identifying wicket-taking bowlers in the months ahead. We need to find bowlers that can take wickets in the early overs, as well as the middle overs,”
“In the series ahead, we will be giving chances whenever we can to identify that talent, because we know Lasith Malinga is not available after this series.”
Search for the next Wicket Taker
Knowing the lack of depth in the wicket taking department, Karunaratne revealed Sri Lanka’s strategy in the years before the next world cup.
“We also need to groom some youngsters for the next World Cup as well. Yes, there’s plenty of time, but we need to groom them one at a time and that takes time. Of course, we can’t fix everything at once, but we have four years before the next World Cup. We need to see how we can groom our youngsters and pass on the experience of our senior players to them.”
“We’ve been looking to give Shehan Jayasuriya a chance after his performances against India A, and Lahiru Madushanka who performed well against South Africa [for the Emerging Team]. Those are some of the players we have in mind, but of course we can’t give everyone a chance just yet.”
Lasith Malinga bids farewell
Lasith Malinga- Im retiring from ODI cricket on 26th July after the 1st of 3 game ODI series vs Bangladesh. If it’s possible come to R.Premadasa Stadium on that day to see me playing an ODI for @OfficialSLC for one last time. #SLVBAN #lka pic.twitter.com/ikGDFC55G9
— Nibraz Ramzan (@nibraz88cricket) July 22, 2019
If Malinga does go ahead with his retirement, he will end up as the third highest wicket taker in ODI’s for Sri Lanka. He is currently 10th on the overall list. However, at 335 wickets, he has the opportunity to surpass Anil Kumble, who is sitting above him at 337 wickets.
Malinga will go down as one of the greatest to ever grace the game. He will forever be remembered for his accurate Yorkers and slinging action. Sri Lanka will surely miss his absence, but like Karunaratne says, this is the time now to identify another diamond in the rough.
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