Sri Lanka’s gun fast bowler Lasith Malinga has decided to retire from franchise cricket, his team Mumbai Indians revealed on Wednesday. The fast bowler had informed the franchise management about his decision to retire earlier this month and thus he wasn’t retained in the squad before IPL 2021 auction.
Malinga has been an integral part of the Mumbai Indians’ family since the second season of the tournament. The fast bowler has only missed two seasons for the franchise in 2018 and 2020. Malinga served as the bowling mentor in 2018 and then came back as a player in 2019. In fact, the fast bowler bowled the final over of IPL 2019 final against CSK and took them to victory by one run.
Subsequently, he went on to miss the IPL 2020 season due to personal reasons amid the coronavirus pandemic. Despite missing two seasons, Malinga is the highest wicket-taker not only for five-time champions Mumbai Indians but also in the IPL. The talisman had scalped 170 wickets in 122 IPL matches he played for MI.
In fact, Malinga has been part of four IPL championships with Mumbai Indians. Apart from Mumbai Indians, Malinga represented T20 franchises like Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Khulna Tigers, Rangpur Riders and Melbourne Stars around the world.
Malinga went on to scalp a total of 390 T20 wickets in 290 matches and he is the second leading wicket-taker of the format behind Dwayne Bravo. Malinga last played for Sri Lanka when he led the team against West Indies.
Speaking of his decision Malinga said: “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.
“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 squad before IPL 2021 auction.
RETAINED: Rohit Sharma, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav, Quinton de Kock, Anmolpreet Singh, Aditya Tare, Chris Lynn, Saurabh Tiwary, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Kieron Pollard, Jayant Yadav, Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohsin Khan, Rahul Chahar, Anukul Roy
RELEASED: Mitchell McCleneghan, James Pattinson, Lasith Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sherfane Rutherford, Digvijay Deshmukh, Prince Balwant Rai Singh.