Defending champions Mumbai Indians received a massive blow as star pacer Lasith Malinga pulled out of IPL 2020. The fast bowler, who has been key to Mumbai’s success will not travel to the UAE due to personal problems. Meanwhile, IPL 2020 will become poorer with the absence of Malinga feels former cricketer Aakash Chopra.
A report in ESPNCricinfo had earlier reported that the veteran fast bowler will miss the initial part of the cash-rich league. His father is not well and the Malinga wants to stay with his family during these testing times. The report also stated that his father might need surgery.
Absence of Malinga makes IPL 2020 poorer – Aakash Chopra
While it stated that Lasith Malinga will join the squad midway, Mumbai Indians have announced the legend will not be a part of this year’s campaign. Reacting to the same, Aakash Chopra feels IPL 2020 will become poorer. The illustrious tournament will also lose some of its charms without its highest wicket-taker.
“To be honest IPL becomes a little poorer if Lasith Malinga is not there. If we see the 12-year history of the IPL, Lasith Malinga is the highest wicket-taker. If he is not there, the fun gets reduced,” Aakash Chopra said in his YouTube video.
Lasith Malinga has been an integral part of Mumbai Indians. He has played significant roles in helping the Rohit Sharma-led side win the title four times. Malinga’s last-over heroics in the IPL 2019 final helped Mumbai win their fourth title against Chennai Super Kings.
The 37-year-old has played 122 games in the IPL scalping 170 wickets with the best figures of five for 13. It will be a massive blow for the defending champions Mumbai Indians, who will now have to rely on Jasprit Bumrah in the death overs.
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians have replaced Lasith Malinga with Australia pacer James Pattinson. The experienced campaigner is likely to join the squad this weekend and will undergo mandatory quarantine before resuming training.