Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga has pulled out of the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League and Australia’s James Pattinson will replace him in the Mumbai Indians squad. Malinga will not be available for the tournament due to ‘personal reasons’.Also Read - IPL 2021: Jasprit Bumrah Plays 100th IPL Match For Mumbai Indians

“Lasith Malinga has requested unavailability for the season for personal reasons and to be with family back home in Sri Lanka. James Pattinson will join MI Family currently based in Abu Dhabi this weekend,” Mumbai Indians said in a press release. Also Read - Ashes Will be One of my Last Cracks: Australia Pace Bowler James Pattinson

Malinga had been an integral part of the MI squad in their win over the past decade and this will come as a big setback for the defending champions, with less than three weeks to go for the tournament. Also Read - Your Contribution to World Cricket Will Stand for All Time: Former Cricketers Hail Lasith Malinga's Illustrious Career

The veteran is the highest wicket-taker of all-time in the history of IPL with 170 wickets in 122 IPL matches at a staggering average of 19.80 and an economy of just over 7.

Malinga was good with the new ball and at the death overs, where his change of pace and yorkers were difficult for even the best of batsmen to pick.

Not long back, Australia’s Adam Zampa replaced Kane Richardson in the RCB squad as the pacer was going to be with his family for the birth of his first child. Even CSK star Suresh Raina pulled out of the tournament due to ‘personal reasons’.

The IPL season is scheduled to start from September 19 and the fixtures are not yet announced by the BCC. Three venues will be used during the course of the tournament to mim=nimise traveling of players amid the pandemic. All the franchises except CSK have started training after their seven-day quarantine.

(More to follow)