Former Sri Lankan bowler Chaminda Vaas has said that Lasith Malinga will be the key bowler for the team in the upcoming Cricket World Cup, beginning May 30. “He has given 100 percent to the team. We have seen him playing in Mumbai in IPL on one day and playing in Sri Lanka in a domestic tournament the next day. It shows the commitment he has and the commitment he has to the team and the country,” the International Cricket Council (ICC) quoted Vaas as saying on Wednesday. Also Read - Chaminda Vaas Resigns as Sri Lanka's Fast Bowling Coach Days After Appointment Due to Pay Dispute
“He will be the key for Sri Lanka cricket in the upcoming World Cup,” he said. “There is no doubt that Malinga is one of the best in the world and the best in Sri Lanka. We depend on him as a bowler, and he showed his leadership qualities,” he added. Sri Lanka announced the 15-member team for the World Cup last week and Vaas believes that the selectors have done the right thing in selecting the players they have despite the team’s poor performance in the ODI format over the past year. Also Read - Jasprit Bumrah Pays Tribute to Mumbai Indians Teammate Lasith Malinga, Says IPL Won't be Same Without You
“For the last few months, Sri Lanka hasn’t done so well. But if you analyse the combination of the team which we picked for the World Cup, I’m pretty sure that the selectors have done the right thing.” “We have to take it from there, and it’s up to the players to get themselves in and play well for the country,” Vaas said. Dimuth Karunaratne, who last played an ODI in 2015, was announced as the Sri Lankan captain for the upcoming World Cup. Also Read - Lasith Malinga Retires From Franchise Cricket After Mumbai Indians Release Him Ahead of IPL 2021 Auction
Sri Lanka have tried many captains in the last couple of years and Vaas admitted that captaincy has been a problem for the team, but he hoped for the best for Karunaratne. “The selectors and Sri Lanka Cricket have put their trust in Dimuth, and given him an opportunity to captain the side. I’m pretty sure the team will unite and will do well in the upcoming World Cup,” Vaas said.
Sri Lanka’s 15-member squad for the World Cup are — Dimuth Karunaratne (c), Avishka Fernando, Lahiru Thirimanne, Kusal Perera, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Dhananjaya de Silva, Jeffery Vandersay, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lasith Malinga, Suranga Lakmal, Nuwan Pradeep, Jeevan Mendis, Milinda Siriwardana.
The team will take on New Zealand in their opening match of the World Cup on June 1 at Cardiff.