Good news for Mumbai Indians fans as paceman veteran stalwart Lasith Malinga is likely to feature in the next two matches for the men in blue in the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL). The decision is likely to be influenced after BCCI’s intervention, as the Indian board made a special call to Sri Lanka Cricket board asking them to make Malinga available for the cash-rich T20 league, as per a report in ESPNCricinfo.
The development is likely to boost the morale of Mumbai camp who suffered a brutal loss in their campaign opener against Delhi Capitals on Sunday. Skipper Rohit Sharma fielded a depleted bowling attack versus Mumbai minus Malinga and an injured Adam Milne. To make the matters worse, premier paceman Jasprit Bumrah ended up hurting his shoulder while bowling the final over at Wankhede.
Earlier, SLC and its selectors had made this mandatory for its players to play in the Super Provincial One Day domestic tournament who be eligible for World Cup selection. Unfortunately, the dates of its Lankan domestic competition clash with the Indian T20 league. The 35-year old had also been named the captain of the Galle team for that tournament.
The Super Provincial One-Day Tournament will be played from April 4 to April 11. However, there’s still no clarity on whether Malinga, who returned to Mumbai as a player for the ongoing season, will be in India for the entire T20 league or will fly home to participate in the competition midway and then return back to re-join Mumbai franchise.
However, SLC chief selector Ashantha de Mel has cleared the doubts by stating that whether Malinga participates in the Provincial tournament or not, there’s no question over his place in Sri Lanka’s World Cup squad.
“We have no issues if he goes to IPL – the board had given him a no-objection certificate already, so he’s free to go. Anyway, he has been one of our best bowlers in one-dayers, so there’s no question about his place in the team,” De Mel was quoted as saying in the report.
Mumbai will play their next two games away from home, they will take on Royal Challengers Bangalore on March 28. Following which, MI will face Kings XI Punjab on March 30.