With Lasith Malinga's in-swinging yorkers losing its sting and the Srilankan veteran pacer fading to become a pale shadow of the bowler who tormented cricketers once, is thinking of hanging his boots. Recently, Malinga has hinted retirement before 2019 World Cup which is slated to be played in the United Kingdom.
“I think I am mentally over with playing cricket,” Malinga told Press Trust of India on Thursday.
“I don't think I will play international cricket anymore. I am planning to announce my retirement soon,” Malinga added.
Malinga has remained a mainstay for the Mumbai Indians since the beginning. He is the highest wicket taker of IPL with 154 scalps in 110 IPL matches with Mumbai. He was the purple cap winner of 2011 and has helped the Mumbai franchise clinch the IPL titles thrice.
However, he was not retained this year by Mumbai Indians, and everyone was surprised when none of the buyers confided in him. Interestingly Mumbai's all-time wicket-taker would now start his next innings with them as ‘bowling mentor' and would be working with the team alongside bowling coach Shane Bond, former New Zealand international player.
Malinga asserted that everyone gets the signal. He mentioned Wasim Akram saying that even he knew when his time was up.
“Mumbai Indians' decisions didn't surprise me. I have ten very memorable years with them, and I have achieved a lot during the stint. This year, the owners spoke to me about their vision. They wanted to create a team for the next three years. I also understand that my time in competitive cricket is over now,” he quoted.
He is the only bowler to have claimed a couple of hat-tricks in the World Cup tournament, and he remains the only bowler with three hat-tricks in ODIs. Malinga played his last ODI and T20 against India in September, and he has not played international cricket since.