Lasith Malinga, who claims to be the best T20 bowler in the history of men's cricket, has retired from the last format in which he had not yet retired. Malinga's playing career was all but ended after he was dropped from the Sri Lankan national team and withdrew from various franchise competitions, including the IPL. However, if fans had hoped for a final T20, that is no longer a possibility.
Malinga made the announcement on his new Youtube channel, where he has been analyzing Sri Lanka's limited-overs performances in recent weeks. "Today I decided I want to give 100% rest to my T20 bowling shoes," he said. "I want to thank each and everyone who supported me and blessed me throughout my T20 journey." Malinga went on to thank the officials and teammates of all the major teams he has been a part of, from the Sri Lanka national side to Mumbai Indians, Melbourne Stars, and various other sides from around the world.
ICYMI, Sri Lankan great Lasith Malinga hangs up his bowling shoes.— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) September 15, 2021
Malinga claimed 107 T20 international wickets and had an economy rate of 7.42 in 83 bowling innings, and was known almost as much for his blonde-tipped curls as for his unusual round-arm motion. In the early days of the format, he was one of the most important inventors. Although his fast, swinging yorker was his main weapon throughout his T20 career, he also developed a well-hidden slower ball, a slower bouncer, and was one of the first and most successful bowlers to employ wide yorkers at the end, a technique that is now fairly standard.
He was a key player in Sri Lanka's T20 victory at the turn of the century. Malinga led Sri Lanka's attack at the 2009 and 2012 T20 World Cups, when the team reached the final and was captain when they won the tournament in 2014.
He was a highly sought-after bowler in franchise tournaments during his heyday, in addition to his international achievements. His 170 wickets in the IPL are the most by any bowler with more than 90 wickets, and his strike rate of 16.62 is the lowest of any bowler with more than 90 wickets in the competition. Perhaps there has never been a more reliable death bowler in the IPL.
Malinga was found by Sri Lanka fast bowling instructors Anusha Samaranayake and Champaka Ramanayake, who took him into the domestic system and coached him in his early years, despite his late start in hard-ball cricket. He made his international debut in 2004 and quickly established himself as a regular in all of Sri Lanka's squads. Injuries to his knees and ankles threatened to ruin his career, so he retired from Test cricket in 2010 to focus on limited-overs cricket. Malinga's last international appearance was in March 2020. At the age of 38, he has decided to retire.