IPL 2020: Lasith Malinga pulls out of the tournament; Mumbai Indians name replacement

IPL 2020: Lasith Malinga pulls out of the tournament; Mumbai Indians name replacement

Malinga wants to be with his family during the IPL.

Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga. (Photo by Robert Cianflone/Getty Images)

The defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI) have been dealt with a huge blow as their ace pacer Lasith Malinga has pulled out of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) season. The tournament is set to commence on September 19 in the UAE. Malinga wants to be with his family as it was earlier reported that his father is not well and requested the franchise to not consider for the IPL this season.

Meanwhile, MI have also signed in the replacement and yet another Australian player, James Pattinson, is set to take part in the T20 extravaganza. It is an interesting choice considering Pattinson’s history with injuries but the pacer took part in the last season of the Big Bash League (BBL) and fared well for the Brisbane Heat.

Mumbai Indians’ official website confirmed the news of Lasith Malinga’s unavailability for the whole season. The franchise owner Akash Ambani extended all support to the veteran Sri Lankan pacer but also admitted that the team will miss his experience this season. He also welcomed Pattinson to the MI family.

“James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season. Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith’s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time.

“Mumbai Indians is founded on the values of ‘One Family’ and for us the members of our squad and their well-being will always hold utmost importance. We welcome James to our One Family,” he said.

James Pattinson’s T20 record

As far as James Pattinson’s T20 record is concerned, he has played around 39 matches in the format and has picked 47 wickets. He has conceded runs at an economy of 8.27 but his strike-rate of 17.5 is brilliant. It will be interesting to see if the Mumbai Indians will be able to use his services during the tournament. Pattinson will join his fellow Australian players Chris Lynn and Nathan Coulter-Nile in the MI team.