Sri Lanka and Mumbai Indians fast bowler Lasith Malinga has credited the IPL for his return to the international scene after he was sidelined by injury in 2008.
Having seriously injured his knee against Australia in early 2008, the paceman was sidelined for nearly 16 months by the ailment and it was a superb spell with the Mumbai side in 2009 that rocketed him back into the frame for international selection.
“Because of the IPL I got a chance to come back to the national team,” explained Malinga.
“After the injury nobody looked after me and I was not offered a contract. But thanks to the IPL I didn’t lose anything but I improved my cricket a lot. I’m saddened the way I was treated but not disappointed.”
Malinga recently retired from Test cricket, citing his chronic knee injury as his reason for doing so, explaining that the five-day game takes too much of a toll on his body.
“I’m not injured but I’m not physically fit to play Test cricket after my injury. If I play in a Test match it would take a longer period for me to recover. The time taken to recover after playing Twenty20 and 50-over cricket is much less,” he said.
“My doctors in Australia had said that mine was a rare type of injury and that I would not be able to play again. But thanks to president Mahinda Rajapaksa’s private physician Dr Eliyantha White who treated me, I was able to play for the national team again.”
While the Sri Lankan cricket board have expressed their disappointment at Malinga’s decision, the bowler remains committed to playing for Sri Lanka in the shorter forms of the game.
“I’m very much delighted to play for my country but unfortunately I have to retire from Test cricket. I don’t hope to play for longer than maybe another three or four years. I will work with full dedication to represent my country in the 2012 World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup,” he said.
The 27-year-old held talks with the Sri Lankan board and selectors in Colombo on Monday and Tuesday but will be back in action with his Mumbai team-mates when they face Rajasthan on Friday. Cricket365