IPL 2019: MI’s Mahela Jayawardene says that franchise wasn’t made aware of Lasith Malinga’s unavailability
"We’ll see what happens."
Updated - Mar 24, 2019 6:14 pm
Lasith Malinga, the veteran Sri Lankan bowler, was bought back by Mumbai Indians as a player for the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2019 and it seemed that the highest wicket-taker in the cash-rich and prestigious will add more victims to his already impressive tally of 154 wickets. However, a day before his team Mumbai Indians take on Delhi Capitals in their IPL 2019 opening match at the Wankhede, Malinga clarified that he will miss the first six matches for his franchise.
The reason behind this is Malinga’s choice of playing in the Super Provincial One Day domestic tournament. The series is for the players aspiring for a place in Sri Lanka’s ICC World Cup 2019 squad and they have to play according to the Lankan selectors. Malinga, who is currently captain of the Lankan limited-overs side and in South Africa at the moment, opted to fulfill this requirement.
Mumbai Indians caught unaware of Malinga’s unavailability
In a tournament where each team plays 14 matches each to qualify for the playoffs, Malinga missing 6 matches is a big blow for MI’s chances of winning the IPL for the fourth time. MI head coach Sri Lanka’s Mahela Jayawardene explained that the franchise was caught by surprise by Malinga’s decision.
“If you read the entire thing, the tournament is for four or five days in April, so till that time, there’s availability. When we got him in the auction, SLC gave us his availability schedule, that tournament wasn’t part of that. So, there is a conversation to be made and once we get through that conversation we’ll let you know. It’s way too early for us to comment on whether he’s going to be unavailable or whatever. We’ll see what happens,” Jayawardene was quoted as saying by Times of India (TOI).
Mumbai Indians are without two of their fastest bowlers as New Zealand’s express paceman, Adam Milne has also pulled out of the tournament owing to a heel injury. Jayawardene confirmed that they are waiting on a final call from Milne before calling for a replacement.
“I think Adam, we were waiting on his fitness because he had an injury four weeks back. So we needed to wait for his recovery and progress. We had to report two days back that he’s not 100 percent and he might not be able to be part of an extended IPL. So, we’ve realized that we need a replacement. We’re considering that, but we’ve got enough resources so we’ll wait on it,” Jayawardene added.