Veteran Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga announced his retirement from T20s on Tuesday, 14 September.
With this announcement, his international career comes to an end as he had already retired from Tests and ODIs. Malinga last played a T20I match for Sri Lanka in March 2020 against West Indies in Pallekele. He took a total of 546 wickets across all formats for Sri Lanka.
In January 2021, he had retired from franchise cricket after Mumbai Indians released him. He had informed the IPL team about his decision to call it a day.
“Hanging up my T20 shoes and retiring from all forms of cricket! Thankful to all those who supported me in my journey, and looking forward to sharing my experience with young cricketers in the years to come,” Malinga tweeted.
Last year, he had expressed his desire to lead Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup, which was originally scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November 2020 but will be held next month after a COVID-forced postponement.
“I am looking forward to help youngsters and guide them in the coming years,” he said as he thanked his national team and all the franchises that he has played for, including IPL team Mumbai Indians.
“I want to give 100 per cent rest to my T20 shoes. While my shoes will rest, my love for the game will never ask for rest,” a smiling Malinga added in the video.
A fearsome pacer known for his menacing yorkers, the leading wicket-taker in T20I also has two T20I hat-tricks to his name.
Malinga also picked up three hat-tricks in ODI cricket, with his performance against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup in West Indies etched in history.
“Today is a very special day for me,” he said.
“I want to thank each and everyone who supported me throughout my T20 journey. I want to thank the Sri Lankan cricket board and team members. And Mumbai Indians cricket team, especially the team owners and officials.
“I would also like to thank the team members and staff at Melbourne Stars, Kent, Rangpur Riders, Kayana Warriors, Maratha Arabians and Montero Tigers. When I played with you all, I got many experiences through my cricketing journey.”
Malinga has been a part of 83 T20Is for Sri Lanka in which he picked up 107 wickets, his best performance being 5 for 6. He also represented Mumbai Indians in Indian Premier League (IPL) in 122 matches, helping the team win multiple trophies. In all, he took 170 wickets in the league.
One of his proudest achievements for Sri Lanka has been winning the World T20 in 2014 as captain. After Dinesh Chandimal was ousted as captain in middle of the campaign, Malinga took charge and took the team to the title.
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