Mumbai Indians celebrate Lasith Malinga after the fast bowler bowled a fantastic over in the IPL 2019 final. (Mumbai Indians/Twitter)
Mumbai Indians celebrate Lasith Malinga after the fast bowler bowled a fantastic over in the IPL 2019 final. (Mumbai Indians/Twitter)

Lasith Malinga retires from franchise cricket

  • The development comes hours after MI released Malinga from their squad, with the franchise owner Aakash Ambani confirming the news.
By hindustantimes.com, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JAN 21, 2021 12:03 AM IST

Lasith Malinga, the leading wicket-taker in the history of the Indian Premier League, has opted to retire from franchise cricket, his former IPL team Mumbai Indians confirmed on Wednesday. The development comes hours after MI released Malinga from their squad, with the franchise owner Aakash Ambani confirming the news.

"Lasith Malinga has been at the core of Mumbai Indians for 12 years. We respect his decision, even though I would have liked him to be part of our bowling attack for another five years," he said in a statement issued by MI.

"Malinga is an MI legend. His contributions to Mumbai Indians' journey are invaluable. We will miss the Wankhede chant for him, but he will always be in the heart of all MI fans. At Mumbai Indians, Malinga will always be a part of the MI family and we hope we can continue to lean on his experience in a non-playing capacity in the future."

Malinga, who has been with MI since 2009, the second edition of the IPL, has taken 170 wickets in the IPL from 122 matches. He last played in 2019, where he bowled a match-winning final over to give MI their record fourth IPL title win. Last year, he decided to give the tournament a miss due to personal reasons.

Besides the IPL, Malinga has previously represented teams from various other T20 leagues from across the globe such as Guyana Amazon Warriors, Jamaica Tallawahs and St Lucia Zouks in the Caribbean Premier League (CPL), Khulna Titans and Rangpur Riders in the Bangladesh Premier League (BPL), Melbourne Stars in the Big Bash League (BBL). In total, he has 390 wickets from 295 matches, and is next only to West Indies all-rounder Dwayne Bravo in the list of all-time leading wicket-takers in T20 cricket.

"After discussing with family, I think now is the right time to retire from all franchise cricket. The Pandemic situation and the restrictions on travel will make it difficult for me given my personal circumstances to participate fully in franchise cricket for the next year and therefore it is best to make this decision now. I have discussed the same with Mumbai Indians management in recent days as they prepare for the upcoming auction and they have been very supportive and understanding. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ambani family, everyone at the Mumbai Indians franchise and all our fans for the wonderful 12 years," Malinga said.

"Mumbai Indians has treated me like family, supporting me 100 per cent in every situation both on and off the field, and always giving me the confidence and the freedom to play my natural game whenever I walked onto the field. I have collected so many happy memories that I cherish and I am very grateful to have played for so long for the best franchise in world cricket. I would like to wish Nita Ambani, coach Mahela (Jayawardene), Akash (Ambani) and the MI family all the best for the upcoming season."

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