Lasith Malinga retires from all formats of cricket

By: News Desk      Published: 06:18 PM, 14 Sep, 2021
Lasith Malinga retires from all formats of cricket

Lasith Malinga, Sri Lanka’s 2014 T20 World Cup winning captain, has announced his retirement from T20Is, marking his retirement from all formats of the game.

Malinga posted a message on his social media account announcing his decision. He also posted a video on his YouTube channel, showing a compilation of his wickets in T20s. “While my shoes will rest my love for the game will never rest,” he captioned the video.

Malinga’s post on social media on Tuesday was: “The experience that I have gained through the past 17 years will no longer be needed in the field since I have decided to retire from T20I Cricket marking my retirement from all formats of cricket. But I will be continuously supporting the younger generations who thrives to uplift the spirit of the game and I will always be there with all who love the game. May the triple gem bless you all!”

Malinga went on to thank the officials and teammates of all the major teams he has been a part of, from the Sri Lanka national side, to Mumbai Indians, Melbourne Stars, and various other sides from around the world.

Earlier this year, Malinga’s IPL team Mumbai Indians said Malinga had told them he wished to retire from franchise cricket, and he was not retained in the squad this year. He last played for Sri Lanka in March 2020, in a T20I vs West Indies. Sri Lanka announced their squad for the T20 World Cup last week.

Recognised almost as much for his blonde-tipped curls, as his unique round-arm action, Malinga claimed 107 T20 international wickets, and maintained an economy rate of 7.42 across 83 bowling innings. He was among the format's primary innovators in its early years. Although his fast, swinging yorker was his primary weapon right through his T20 career, he also developed a well-disguised slower-ball, a slower bouncer, and was among the first and most successful bowlers to use wide yorkers at the death - a fairly commonplace strategy today.

He was an integral part of the Sri Lanka men's team's T20 success at the turn of the last decade. Malinga was leader of Sri Lanka's attack in the 2009 and 2012 T20 World Cups, when Sri Lanka made the final, and was captain of the team when they won the World Cup in 2014.

In addition to his international exploits, he was also a highly-sought after bowler in franchise tournaments in his heyday. In the IPL, his tally of 170 wickets is yet to be eclipsed, and his strike rate of 16.62 is the lowest for any bowler with more than 90 wickets in the tournament. The IPL has arguably never seen a more consistent death bowler.

Although he didn't pick up hard-ball cricket until relatively late in his teens, Malinga was discovered by Sri Lanka fast bowling coaches Anusha Samaranayake and Champaka Ramanayaka, who brought him into the domestic system and trained him in his early years. He made his international debut in 2004, and soon became a fixture in all Sri Lanka's teams. Repeated knee and ankle injuries threatened to end his career however, and in 2010, he made the decision to retire from Tests to focus on limited-overs cricket.

Malinga last played an international in March 2020. He has retired at 38. He is also the holder of a few unique feats for Sri Lanka. He has taken five hat-tricks in international cricket. He has also taken 4 wickets off 4 consecutive balls twice in international cricket.

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