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    Malinga mulls retirement after T20 World Cup in 2020

    March 24, 2019

    Lasith Malinga, on the screen in Cape Town last week during the final ODI match against South Africa, still has more life in cricket Lasith Malinga who is almost assured of a place in the 50-over World Cup squad in England in June, aims to play next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia before signing off from international cricket.

    Malinga, 35, has picked up 322 wickets from 218 ODI games–including a rare four-in-four balls against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup and has 97 wickets in 72 T20Is. He is three wickets away from becoming the first bowler to take 100 wickets in T20 Internationals. Pakistan’s Shahid Afridi is the highest wicket taker with 98 scalps.

    “After the World Cup, my cricketing career is ending,” Malinga said after his side lost the second Twenty20 International against South Africa by 16 runs.“I want to play in the T20 World Cup and then end my career.”

    However Malinga’s first focus is the World Cup in England. Even though Malinga is far from his brutal best, he is still Sri Lanka’s main strike bowler in limited over format.While there is no confirmation if the selectors will persist with him as skipper for the World Cup, especially after the team’s poor performance in South Africa where they were swept 5-0, Malinga has done enough with the ball to warrant a place in the 15-man squad.

    He is set to miss six matches of the Indian Premier League, where he is the all-time highest wicket-taker, to play Sri Lanka’s domestic Super Provincial One Day ournament.Malinga whose career was affected several times in the past due to injuries, will lead Galle Province in the Super Provincial 50-over tournament starting next month.

    “I had asked the board for the No-Objection Certificate for me to play in the IPL, and they had said that was fine, but that all players who want to go to the World Cup would need to stay back for the provincial tournament,” Malinga was quoted as saying by cricinfo.“So I told them I’d play in the provincial tournament, and I asked the board to inform Mumbai Indians and IPL, since it was their decision. I’m ok with losing those earnings from IPL. I’m doing it for the country.”

    Meanwhile speaking after Friday’s defeat–which gave hosts an inaccessible 2-0 lead in the three match series faulted top order batting for the series loss.“Very frustrating for myself and the support staff (the top order failure). The top order batsmen have to take the responsibility, that’s what the team is expecting,” Malinga who lead Sri Lanka for the T20 World title in n 2014 said. “They have to learn that. Udana is the kind of player we need. He realised what responsibility he has and showed his character. We are looking forward to him doing well in the future also.


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