New Delhi: Sri Lankan limited overs captain Lasith Malinga will retire from international cricket after next year’s Twenty20 World Cup, he has revealed.
Malinga said he would quit one-day internationals after the World Cup in England and Wales this summer before calling time on his career following the Twenty20 tournament, being played in Australia October-November 2020.
“After the World Cup, my cricketing career is ending,” the 35-year-old said Friday after his his side were beaten by 16 runs by South Africa in the second Twenty20 international at SuperSport Park.
“I want to play in the T20 World Cup and then end my career.”
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 will also be missing the first six games of the IPL. Mumbai Indians will be without the services of the veteran pacer as he has made himself unavailable as he will be participating in Sri Lanka’s Super Provincial One-Day domestic tournament, slated from from 4 to 11 April, in a bid to make it to the World Cup team.
“I had asked the board for the no-objection certificate for me to play in the IPL, and they had said that was fine, but that all players who want to go to the World Cup would need to stay back for the provincial tournament,” Malinga told ESPNcricinfo.
“So, I told them I’d play in the Provincial Tournament, and I asked the board to inform Mumbai Indians and IPL, since it was their decision. I’m ok with losing those earnings from IPL. I’m doing it for the country,” said the Sri Lankan, who was bought by Mumbai Indians for Rs 2 crore.
Malinga, who had worked as a bowling mentor for Mumbai Indians last year, suggested that his franchise should replace him with someone else. “Once I become available for Mumbai Indians, I would have missed seven or eight games,” he said. “So, there’s probably no point in them waiting around for me. Better for them to find someone else to replace me with.”
If he makes the cut in the World Cup squad, Malinga will need to attend training camps through May, missing the IPL.