‘I can still bowl 24 balls’ – Lasith Malinga confident of playing T20 World Cup 2021

‘I can still bowl 24 balls’ – Lasith Malinga confident of playing T20 World Cup 2021

Malinga hasn’t played for Sri Lanka since March 2020.

Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

Lasith Malinga is arguably the greatest fast bowler to have donned the Sri Lanka jersey, and his numbers speak volumes of his prowess. The right-arm pacer tormented many prominent batters with his thunderbolts and took the Lankan Lions to several emphatic victories. However, the talismanic cricketer is currently not in the reckoning of national selection due to his fitness issues. As per the current policy, Sri Lankan players need to clear a 2 km run to become eligible for national selection.

With the 37-year-old not being able to clear this hurdle, he hasn’t played for Sri Lanka since March 2020. However, Malinga is still confident of his bowling prowess, and his retirement is certainly not around the corner. The veteran fast bowler, who is retired from Tests and ODIs, asserted that he can bowl 24 straight deliveries and is good enough to play T20s.

“It’s not about the T20 World Cup, I’m not going to retire. I can still bowl 24 balls. I am not able to complete the 2km and run. That’s why I’m staying home. I can however bowl for about two hours without any issue,” Malinga said while featuring on Russel Arnold’s YouTube show “Chilling with Russel.”

Because of the 2 km fitness test, I’m staying home: Lasith Malinga

“I can bowl 24 straight balls, I can even bowl 200 balls, but because of the 2km fitness test, I’m staying home because I know I can’t complete it,” he added. Malinga also went onto take a dig at SLC’s selection policy by recalling his double hat-trick against New Zealand in August 2019.

“I took 4 wickets in 4 balls against New Zealand at Kandy, I was 35 years old at that time. Nobody complained about my tummy or fitness on that occasion,” Malinga asserted.

For the unversed, Malinga also announced his retirement from franchise cricket earlier this year. Hence, he’s only available to play T20Is for his national team. Needless to say, the former Sri Lankan captain would be raring to play the ICC T20 World Cup 2021, which will get underway in October in UAE. However, the talismanic pacer might not get a place in the squad if he doesn’t pass the mandatory fitness Test.