I will continue to play anywhere I can for the next 2-3 years: Lasith Malinga

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Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga. (© Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

Lasith Malinga’s absence from the national team surely has hurt Sri Lanka badly this year. His recurring fitness problems have eaten up a good part of his career, most notably since November last year.

But, after struggling to gain fitness for close to 10 months, he was once again the center of attraction during this week when he was seen in action during Sri Lanka’s practice session ahead of the 2nd ODI as well as during the 2nd T20I. The fast bowler had declared himself fit and had also described his wish to play I the Tillakaratne Dilshan’s farewell game.

“Three weeks ago I started running and training and today, I bowled with a full run-up; about 30 deliveries per day and fielding too. I believe I’m in good shape and I think I have a chance of playing without surgery. I haven’t played for 10 months or so now,” said Malinga in an exclusive Interview with Ceylon Today.

“Even if I did not get a chance in the National Team I have no regrets and I will continue to play anywhere I can for the next 2-3 years.”

Injuries might have made him suffer and cost him a good amount of time in the field but Malinga is still confident and feels that he wishes to lay for his country another couple or three years. Lasith Malinga, too, as highly concerned and speaks how he met one doctor after another to recover from the injury.

“It was initially injured in November 2015 and could not play for three and half months and came back to bowl in the Asia Cup but couldn’t continue. Then I consulted every possible doctor in the country and two weeks ago it was recommended by all doctors – including doctors from England and Australia – which I should undergo surgery and the chance of playing after that, could be 50-50.

“But I decided against that and thought to give it a go without having surgery as I had another doctor here, Dr. Eliyantha White (personal physician to former President Mahinda Rajapaksa). I also consulted him.”

Lasith Malinga is a fearsome name and not many batsmen would disagree with this fact. But, whom does this lethal yorker machine fear the most? His answer is quite valid and satisfying.

“Brendon McCullum and Virat Kohli were two. Kohli led the way when India chased down 340 in 38 overs against us, and he hit one of my overs for 24. Everyone remembers about that over, but nothing about the past 12 years of my career.”

Kohli toyed with the Lankan legend during his match – winning knock of 133 against Sri Lanka in the 2012 CB series. Kohli left everyone shell-shocked after he smothered Malinga for 24 runs in over dispatching his yorkers for boundaries with ease.

Gossips have it that Tillakaratne Dilshan was in no mood to retire and he was forced to make the decision under the pressure from management and coaches. Dilshan gave some support to these reports when he talked about the lack of support from players and coaches.

“Dilshan has done a great service for the Sri Lanka Team, and scoring 10,000 runs is not easy. He expressed what was in his heart and it’s a good thing to do. All players must support each other in the team. And when coaches change rapidly it’s hard to manage things. If he had 3-4 years he may have done something better.”

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