One of the hardest lessons in life is letting go. Mumbai Indians would be going through the same emotions when they’ll be releasing Malinga for the IPL auction next year.
With the lucrative league entering its tenth season, the franchises may be allowed to retain only three players for the next season. And with Mumbai Indians having some star performers in their line-up, the Sri Lankan great may find himself out of favour.
One of the most consistent match winners for MI, Malinga is the most successful bowler in IPL history with 154 wickets from 110 matches. When Mumbai lifted the title in 2013 and 2015, the premier fast bowler picked up 20 and 24 wickets respectively.
His toe crushing yorkers seem to have faded into oblivion as he picked up just 11 wickets in 12 matches in IPL 2017 and leaked away runs with the worst economy rate of 8.84, the worst of his coveted IPL career.
The bowler whose iconic slinging action became his deadliest weapon has been ignored even by the national side as he was dropped from the ODI team after struggling against Zimbabwe at home.
Age has caught up with the right-arm pacer and an unwillingness to look after his body has played a part in his downfall as a bowler while also leading to many run-ins with the Sri Lankan cricket administration.
Also, Mumbai Indians have the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and New Zealand’s Mitchell McClenaghan in their ranks, who were instrumental in ensuring the victory for the side in the latest season.
However, Mumbai still has the option of getting back the Sri Lankan paceman and they are not ruling out the possibility of buying him in the auction. A source close to the Mukesh Ambani owned franchise was quoted as saying, “As per the rules, Every team can preserve maximum four to five players, Mumbai Indians team management is of the opinion to release the Slinga Malinga.
The Mumbai Indians can also buy him back, but as far as the auction is concerned, it looks like Lasith Malinga will find himself in the pool of players up for grabs.”
The IPL Governing Council is slated to meet on November 21 to discuss the retention policy ahead of the auction scheduled next year. Some franchises are said to be in favour of release of all the players, so that they can get a shot at the big guns like Virat Kohli and A B deVilliers.
The final decision is most likely to be made in the meeting and as of now, it seems that they would allow each team to retain three players and not five.