Lasith Malinga is going to be one of the oldest players in the World Cup, but the paceman from Sri Lanka shows no signs of slowing down as he bids his critics prove wrong. Malinga was stripped of Sri Lanka’s one-day international captaincy in April after losing all eight matches in a troubled, four-month-long reign.
Selectors from Sri Lanka, led by former fast bowler Ashantha de Mel, said Malinga was unable to join the team while being accused of falling out with other senior players as well.
That hammer blow allegedly prompted Malinga to consider retirement, but after being named in the squad of the World Cup he chose to stay on. Recently, the 35-year-old recalled his enduring qualities to the world when he claimed 16 wickets for the Indian Premier League Mumbai Indians.
In the Twenty20 final against Chennai Super Kings, he produced a sensational final to hand Mumbai a record fourth IPL title. Malinga often hits speeds of more than 86 miles per hour (138 km / h), while its devastating slower balls were evident during the IPL, a welcome sign for embattled Sri Lanka ahead of the World Cup in England and Wales starting on May 30.
With several inexperienced bowlers in the squad of Sri Lanka, Malinga is expected to be the cutting edge of the team’s attack with 322 ODI wickets to its name. In addition, the first major goal of the new captain Dimuth Karunaratne will be to bring back into the fold a hurting Malinga to ensure the team gets the best out of the old warhorse.
Some of the most memorable performances of Malinga have come to the World Cup, where the bowler raises his game frequently. After claiming four wickets in four balls against South Africa at the 2007 World Cup, Malinga first burst into global prominence.