Sri Lanka pace veteran Lasith Malinga has decided to retire from franchise cricket.
According to a press release issued by Mumbai Indians (MI), he informed his decision to the MI management earlier this month.
He is therefore not part of the 18-member Mumbai side’s retention list for the next IPL season announced today.
Malinga, the leading wicket-taker in the history of the IPL, has taken 170 wickets from 122 IPL matches.
He has been with Mumbai Indians side since 2009.
What does the Mumbai owner say?
“Lasith Malinga has been at the core of Mumbai Indians for 12 years. We respect his decision, even though I would have liked to him to be part of our bowling attack for another 5 years.” Akash Ambani, owner of the Mumbai Indians, said.
“Malinga is an MI legend. His contributions to Mumbai Indians’ journey are invaluable. We will miss the Wankhede chant for him, but he will always be in the heart of all MI fans. At Mumbai Indians, Malinga will always be a part of the MI family and we hope we can continue to lean on his experience in a non-playing capacity in the future.”
In addition to contributing to the Mumbai team as a fast bowler, Lasith Malinga also worked as a bowling mentor for the Mumbai Indians in 2018.
Malinga, who joined the MI team as a player again in 2019, bowled a match-winning final over to give Mumbai their fourth IPL title win.
The Sri Lankan speedster missed out on IPL in 2020 citing personal reasons.
What does the champion fast bowler say?
“After discussing with family, I think now is the right time to retire from all franchise cricket. The Pandemic situation and the restrictions on travel will make it difficult for me given my personal circumstances to participate fully in franchise cricket for the next year and therefore it is best to make this decision now.” Lasith Malinga said.
“I have discussed the same with Mumbai Indians management in recent days as they prepare for the upcoming auction and they have been very supportive and understanding. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ambani family, everyone at the Mumbai Indians franchise and all our fans for the wonderful 12 years.
“Mumbai Indians has treated me like family, supporting me 100 % in every situation both on and off the field, and always giving me the confidence and the freedom to play my natural game whenever I walked onto the field.
“I have collected so many happy memories that I cherish and I am very grateful to have played for so long for the best franchise in world cricket. I would like to wish Mrs Nita Ambani, coach Mahela (Jayawardene), Akash (Ambani) and the MI family all the best for the upcoming season.”
In total, Malinga has taken 390 wickets in 295 matches in his T20 career.
Apart from the IPL, he played in many other league tournaments around the world.
He represented teams like the Jamaica Tallawahs, Khulna Titans, Maratha Arabians, Rangpur Riders, St Lucia Zouks, Guyana Amazon Warriors, and Melbourne Stars in T20 leagues.