Colombo: Veteran Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga will retire from fifty-over cricket after the first game of the three-match one-day international series against Bangladesh, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne has said.
Malinga, 35, was named in Sri Lanka’s 22-member squad for the three ODIs against Bangladesh at Colombo’s R Premadasa Stadium from 26 July. But, speaking to reporters on Monday, 22 July, skipper Karunaratne indicated the former captain will make his last ODI appearance in the series.
“He is going to play the first match,” Karunaratne said. “After that he is retiring. That’s what he said to me. I don’t know what he said [to] the selectors but [to] me he said he is playing only one match.”
Malinga is Sri Lanka’s third-highest wicket-taker in ODIs, with 335 wickets from 225 matches – only behind Chaminda Vaas (399) and Muttiah Muralitharan (523). He is 10th on the overall list and needs three more scalps to overhaul Anil Kumble’s tally of 337. His farewell ODI at the R Premadasa Stadium will also give him the opportunity to complete 50 ODI wickets at the venue.
Known for his unusual, slingy action and pinpoint yorkers, Malinga, apart from his skills with the new ball, mastered the art of death bowling. He’s the only bowler to have three ODI hat-tricks, two of which came in World Cups.
Playing his fourth and final World Cup in 2019, the Sri Lankan spearhead took 13 wickets from seven matches finishing as his team’s leading wicket-taker at the showpiece event.