Lasith Malinga is mostly popular for his ‘Toe-crushers’ and deadly Yorkers, a modern-day Waqar Younis. Born on 28 August 1983, the 32-year-old has emerged as one of the most fearsome bowlers in world cricket. The Sri Lankan ‘slinger’ has terrorized batsmen with his peculiar action resulting in dangerous spells.
Here we see 11 lesser known facts about Lasith Malinga:
1. Malinga’s first words as a toddler was not “Mommy”. It was, “Who’s your Daddy.”
2. Malinga started playing cricket at the age of 11 in his village of Rathgama, near Galle. Playing softball cricket on the beach, he claims that his weird action is natural. It was only during his late teens that he started bowling with the cricket ball.
3. On the tour to New Zealand 2005, Malinga was so devastating that the home side had a problems sighting the ball. Stephen Fleming, the New Zealand captain had asked the umpires to remove their ties as they would often lose the ball as it came an awkward angle. The umpires were also asked to tie a white jersey around their waist so that the batsmen sight it better. Though Steve Bucknor complied with this, Darrel Hair refused.
4. Lasith once went 2 games without ever taking a single wicket with a toe-crushing yorker. He then destroyed that damn PlayStation 3 box.
5. It is said that Malinga was taken to the Sri Lankan nets to bowl in 2001, but was stopped from bowling for fear of causing injuries. The Guardian reported Aravinda de Silva as saying, “Around about the time we were getting ready for the 2003 World Cup I heard there was this young pace-bowler new in Colombo and how no one really wanted to bat against him, certainly none of the seniors. So I had to have a go.”
6. Malinga is the only bowler to have three hat-tricks in ODIs, two of those came in World Cup games, which is also a world record. In 2007, he took four wickets in four balls against South Africa. He is the only bowler to do so.
7. Lasith once bowled a bouncer. No really. The ball bounced, dipped back into the batsman’s toes and crushed it, planting the batsman’s feet permanently into the pitch. He can still be spotted on the field near Gale.
8. Malinga has dismissed seven batsmen, six times in international cricket. That list includes big names such as Sachin Tendulkar,Shahid Afridi, Gautam Gambhir, Virender Sehwag and Shane Watson. However, he has been most successful against Bangladesh batsmen Shahriar Nafees and Javed Omar. Nafees fell to Malinga six times in 11 matches, whereas Omar was dismissed six times in seven matches.
9. Malinga has been named the sexiest man in cricket by a Barbados-based magazine named Easy.
10. Lasith actually used to date a middle stump in high school, which could explain his desire to “smack ’em” every time he sees one.
11. Malinga was a part of the highest ninth-wicket partnership in One-Day Internationals (ODIs). Along with Angelo Mathews, he put up 132 against Australia at Melbourne in 2010 to help Sri Lanka win from a hopeless situation. Chasing 240 to win, Sri Lanka were 107 for eight when the pair got together. Malinga scored 56 and was dismissed with a run required for victory.