Sri Lanka Captain Lasith Malinga To Retire After T20 World Cup In 2020
Lasith Malinga has opted out of the first six matches for Mumbai Indians to try and seal his 2019 World Cup spot for Sri Lanka.
Sri Lankan limited overs captain Lasith Malinga will retire from international cricket after next year's T20 World Cup, he said on Friday. "I want to play in the T20 World Cup and then end my career," the 35-year-old told AFP after his his side were beaten by 16 runs by South Africa in the second Twenty20 international at SuperSport Park. Malinga is part of the Mumbai Indians in IPL 2019, but has opted out of the first six matches for the franchise to try and seal his place in the 2019 World Cup squad for the island nation.
Malinga said that he would quit one-day internationals after the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales this summer before calling time on his career following the Twenty20 tournament, which will be played in Australia over October-November 2020.
"After the World Cup, my cricketing career is ending," the 35-year-old said after his side went down to South Africa on Friday.
Malinga dismissed South African top-scorer Reeza Hendricks for 65 on Friday, his 97th T20 international wicket. He is one short of the world record of 98 held by Pakistan's Shahid Afridi.
Malinga made his ODI debut in 2004, in subsequent years becoming the first to take two World Cup hat-tricks and the first to take three ODI hat-tricks. He is also the only bowler to take four wickets in four consecutive balls.
His international career has been interrupted by injuries. He even took a one-year hiatus from all forms of international cricket in 2016.
Sri Lanka's veteran match-winner, now back with a vengeance, as seen from his miserly return of 2-11 in four overs in the 1st T20I of the ongoing series which went to the Super Over, is finally in the last year of his sparkling career.
(With AFP inputs)