Lasith Malinga announced his retirement from T20Is on Tuesday, September 14, which marked his retirement from all forms of cricket. The 38-year-old, who boasts 546 international wickets, had already retired from Tests in 2011 and ODIs in 2019 and played his last T20I in March last year.
Malinga, who led Sri Lanka to the 2014 T20 World Cup title, posted a video on his YouTube channel with a compilation of his bowling brilliance, captioning “While my shoes will rest, my love for the game will never rest.”
The Sri Lankan speedster, renowned for his unusual slingy action, toe-crushing yorkers and subtle variations, has been one of the stalwarts of the game, especially in the white-ball versions. He finished with 338 and 107 wickets in ODIs and T20Is respectively, topping the charts in the shortest format.
He holds the unique record of bagging four wickets in four consecutive balls twice in international cricket, having famously achieved the feat first in a 2007 World Cup game against South Africa in Guyana, and later in a T20I against New Zealand in Pallekele in September 2019. Overall, he bagged a staggering five hattricks in international cricket - three in ODIs and two in T20Is.
Hanging up my #T20 shoes and #retiring from all forms of cricket! Thankful to all those who supported me in my journey, and looking forward to sharing my experience with young cricketers in the years to come.https://t.co/JgGWhETRwm #LasithMalinga #Ninety9— Lasith Malinga (@ninety9sl) September 14, 2021
Malinga was also a much sought after bowler in various global T20 leagues, and is currently the leading wicket-taker in IPL history with 170 scalps from 122 games for the Mumbai Indians, for whom he featured in four title wins in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019.
In December 2012, he returned with an astonishing 4-1-7-6 for the Melbourne Stars against the Perth Scorchers, which still stand as the best ever bowling figures in the competition’s history. Overall, he bagged 390 wickets in T20 cricket, which is bettered only by Dwayne Bravo (540), Imran Tahir(420) and Sunil Narine (411).
He thanked the officials and teammates of all the major teams he represented over a 16-year-long competetive career.