Another T20 Superstar Opts Out of IPL

IPL was scheduled to be held in March. Wait, can’t organize IPL as the number of Covid-19 cases increased in India. Finally, with the discussions with the UAE Board and government, IPL is staging at the UAE for the second time since its initiation.

Plenty of things started to happen since the players reached in Dubai and Abu Dhabi. Covid-19 cases appeared in CSK camp, Suresh Raina withdraws from IPL, Kane Richardson opting to be with his wife during the birth of his first child, Josh Hazlewood and Kane Williamson have shown signs of concern coming into the tournament, and now another T20 giant has opted to withdraw his name from IPL.

Lasith Malinga, Mumbai Indians fast bowler has withdrawn from this year’s competition due to personal reasons.

Lasith Malinga is the highest-wicket taker bowler in the history of IPL, taking 170 wickets from 122 games and all for Mumbai Indians. He is one of the few players who have played only for one franchise since its start in 2008.

It is believed that Malinga’s father has been ill and he may require surgery in the coming weeks. At this critical time, Malinga wanted to stay with his father and family and decided not to go with the team and now he had pulled out from the entire competition.

Mumbai owner Akash Ambani, on his withdrawal from the tournament, has said: “Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith’s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time.”

Lasith Malinga is the all-time second-highest wicket-taker in T20s behind Dwayne Bravo with 390 wickets under his belt. He has helped Mumbai win titles on three different occasions in 2013, 2015, and 2019 defending 8 runs in the final over saving 2 runs from the final delivery with his famous dipping slower ball Yorker.

Mumbai Indians have hired the services of James Pattinson in the absence of Malinga. Ambani, on the addition of Pattinson also said that: “James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season.”

Mumbai Indians have a deadly opening bowling pair with Jasprit Bumrah and Trent Boult to start the proceedings. They are scheduled to play the tournament opener against Chennai Super Kings on September 19.