Lasith Malinga has stated he got fans in India and rest of the world while playing for Mumbai Indians in the IPL. The Sri Lankan cricketer, who announced his retirement from all formats of cricket earlier this week, further added that the Mumbai-based franchise have an excellent support staff.
The second leg of IPL 2021 began on Sunday, September 19, and Lasith Malinga, who played a crucial role in Mumbai’s four title wins, stated that he got many fans around the globe after he started playing for Mumbai Indians. He further stated that the Mumbai-based franchise have got excellent support staff.
"When I played with Mumbai Indians, I got many fans in India and all over the world. I feel all the young cricketers have a dream, to play franchise cricket, especially IPL, and (for) the national team. That is why I want to share my experience with Mumbai Indians, who have an excellent support staff. That is why I want to explain how I entered the IPL team," the official website of Mumbai Indians quoted Malinga as saying
Malinga, who ended his IPL career with 170 wickets from 122 matches, was part of MI’s fourth title win. While speaking on his journey in IPL, Malinga recollected his memories from 2008, when he was picked in the auction and could not take part in the season due to injury. He further stated that the IPL 2009 in South Africa helped him to retain his position in the national side.
"In 2008, I got the opportunity to put down my name for the auction. After that, I got a call from my manager who told me that I'd got a chance to play with Mumbai Indians that year. He asked me not to worry, and that two other Sri Lankan cricketers were there. He also mentioned that I got good owners - Mr. Mukesh Ambani and Mrs. Nita Ambani," he added.
"The manager also mentioned about the team's support staff and the team having the most experienced players of that time. I had only 3.5 years of international experience. I felt it was good to go there and get some experience to play for the national team. In 2008, I was really unlucky. First I got a knee injury, then I missed the IPL and I lost the Sri Lankan annual contract."
"In 2009, after one and a half years, all the doctors and physios said that if I wanted to play, I would have to start short-format games to continue my cricketing journey. It meant that I would have to play T20s. But I didn't get any chance to play in the national team and I had only one option: to go to South Africa and play in the IPL. I explained this to the Sri Lankan Cricket board and they understood the situation. In 2009, I finally went to South Africa to meet my MI team," he added.
Lasith Malinga, who led Sri Lanka to the 2014 T20 World Cup victory, announced his retirement from T20Is on September 14, marking his retirement from all formats of the game.