Veteran Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga will retire from One-day international cricket with the first of the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh. R Premadasa Stadium will host all of the three ODIs, slated on 26,28,31 July.
Malinga to call time on his career
The Lankan skipper Dimuth Karunaratane has said that Malinga will not feature in the entire series. “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,” said Karunaratne.
Malinga will sign off from the international arena as the third-highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket for his country. The 35-year-old has scalped 335 wickets in 219 innings thus far. Only legendary former spinner Muttiah Muralitharan and pacer Chaminda Vaas have bagged more wickets- 523 and 399 respectively.
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
Sri Lanka’s hapless show and Malinga’s old spark
Sri Lanka didn’t quite make a mark in the 2019 World Cup but Malinga made a good impression by picking 13 wickets in seven games. The Sri Lankan board will now have to look for a mainstay in their bowling department. “Malinga’s retirement will give us an excellent opportunity to find and nurture the next generation of fast bowlers,” said Chief Selector Ashantha de Mel.
He is also one of the seven Lankan bowler to have bagged 100 or more wickets in Test cricket. The pacer struggled with injuries for a prolonged period but made vital contributions for the island nation in marquee events.
His famous gig of picking four wickets in four consecutive deliveries will be cherished by fans forever. He is the only cricketer to have picked three hat-tricks in ODI cricket.
After recovering from knee surgery in 2007, Malinga made a comeback in the Champions Trophy but the spark was missing. He led the side for a brief period and will bring curtains down on a staggering career.