COLOMBO (Reuters) – Sri Lanka fast bowling ace Lasith Malinga will retire from 50-over internationals after Friday’s first match against Bangladesh in Colombo, captain Dimuth Karunaratne has said.
Malinga, 35, played his last test in 2010 but continued playing the shorter formats and has taken 335 wickets from 225 one-day internationals for Sri Lanka, the third highest for the island country behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.
“He is going to play the first match,” Karunaratne told reporters. “After that he is retiring. That’s what he told me.”
The paceman with blond-tinted hair and the distinctive slingshot action has previously said he would retire from international cricket following next year’s World Twenty20 in Australia.
Since his 2004 debut against United Arab Emirates, Malinga has been a formidable bowler in limited overs cricket with his ability to execute toe-crushing yorkers at will, especially in the death overs.
While the pace has undoubtedly dropped over the years, the former captain was still Sri Lanka’s most successful bowler at the recent World Cup in England with 13 wickets from seven outings to finish third in the list of most successful bowlers in the history of the World Cup with 56 wickets.
He has also taken three ODI hat-tricks and is the only player to have achieved the milestone twice during a World Cup.
(Writing by Sudipto Ganguly in Mumbai; editing by Ian Ransom)