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IPL 2019: Decision on Lasith Malinga’s participation to be taken by coaching staff and SLC

Malinga is currently Sri Lanka's skipper in ODI and T20I formats.

Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga. (Photo Source: Twitter)

After having missed out on playing the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018, Sri Lanka’s premier pacer Lasith Malinga is back in the auction pool. He will go under the hammer on Tuesday. Throughout his IPL career, the bowler with a slinging action only plied his trade for the Mumbai Indians. He was the bowling mentor of the side for the previous season.

With 154 wickets in 110 games, Malinga is the all-time leading wicket-taker of the glittering tournament. Recently, he also made a comeback into the national team nearly after a year. While he pondered over retiring after going unsold in the last edition, the veteran still kept going and regained his full fitness.

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Furthermore, he was also made the leader of the ODI and T20I side recently. Hence, he is clearly a part of the World Cup 2019 plans. The SLC will look to take utmost care of him at least until the showpiece event it seems.

The selectors can’t take a decision at this stage

Hence, the decision of his participation in the IPL will be taken by the coaches and the SLC as per Ashantha De Mel, the chief selector. “At this stage, we don’t come into the picture. That decision (whether to issue him a NOC) will be taken by the coaches and the board”, he was quoted as saying by Kashmir Times.

The chairman of selectors made it clear that Malinga will be a part of the plans for the World Cup. However, it comes with a clause and the pacer will have to maintain his fitness. “Sri Lanka’s ODI and T20 captain Lasith Malinga is definitely in plan for the next year’s World Cup and that’s why we have chosen him to lead the side”, he added.

“The 35-year-old right-arm fast bowler Malinga has been made captain for the forthcoming ODIs’ and T-20 squad for the New Zealand tour. If he maintains his fitness and continues playing with the good performance, he can certainly play the World Cup.”

Another source informed about the captaincy policy at the moment. He informed that the captain will be appointed freshly series by series.

“As per our present policy, we don’t appoint captain on a long-term basis. It will be appointed on a series by series basis. Our next tour is South Africa, where again Malinga’s performance and fitness will be reviewed”, another SLC official added.

“We received the feedback (on the composition of the team) from the coach (Chandika Hathrusinghe) earlier. We selected the captain first and then he was invited to select the rest of the members of the team”, the source further added.

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