Mumbai Indians fast bowler and star player Lasith Malinga is reportedly set to miss the major part of this year’s Indian Premier League (IPL), and thus did not travel with the rest of the squad to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) today. He is likely to join the team towards the fag end of the tournament and participate in the playoffs.
According to reports, Lasith Malinga’s father is ill and may require surgery in the next few weeks, and hence the Sri Lanka pacer is keen to stay by his father’s side and will be training by himself in Colombo.
One of the primary reasons for Lasith Malinga to delay his travel is the mandatory 14-day quarantine imposed by the Sri Lankan government. That means even if he does fly out now and come back later for his father’s surgery, he won’t be able to fly back until the end of a 14-day period.
Lasith Malinga, who is Sri Lanka’s third-highest wicket-taker in ODIs with 338 wickets, last represented the country in a home T20 series against the West Indies in March this year. He did not even take part in the residential conditioning camps organised by Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) in June and July.
The most recent IPL memory of Lasith Malinga’s heroics is last year’s final where he defended eight runs in the final. The Sri Lankan pacer’s top effort helped the Mumbai Indians win a record fourth IPL trophy by beating the Chennai Super Kings by just one run in the IPL 2019 summit clash.
The Sri Lankan pacer, who will turn 37 next week, is IPL’s leading wicket-taker with 170 wickets in 122 matches. He also has the joint-highest four-wicket hauls in the history of the tournament – both Lasith Malinga and Sunil Narine has taken four wickets in an innings six times.
The 13th edition of the IPL will be played across three venues in the UAE – Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Sharjah, starting September 19 with the final on November 10.