Lasith Malinga confirmed the news of his impending retirement from One-Day Internationals, and spoke of his desire to carry on in the shortest format. He aspires to be a part of next year’s T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in October and November in Australia.
Malinga posted a video message on his wife’s official facebook page, calling out to his fans to come watch him play for the last time in the 50-over format on Friday, when Sri Lanka play Bangladesh in the first ODI in Colombo.
“I hope to be able to take Sri Lanka to the next T20 World Cup. I hope I will have an opportunity to play in that tournament, but if there are better players than me, I don’t mind being left out,” Malinga told reporters on Tuesday on the sidelines of a practice session leading up to the three-match series.
Malinga was the highest wicket taker for his team in the recently concluded World Cup and he won his team a match against eventual winners England with a match-winning spell of 4/43.
Should Sri Lanka Cricket decide not to drop him and let him carry on his T20I career, he’s in with a chance to become the first player to pick 100 wickets in the format – currently sitting just three shy of the milestone. With just two more wickets, he will go past Shahid Afridi to top the list of wicket-takers in the format, having played a lot fewer games than the now-retired Pakistan all-rounder.
If SLC decide to move on from the veteran instead, he’ll still bow out second on the list of wicket-takers in the format and with a World T20 winners’ medal (2014) in tow.