Mumbai Indians legend Lasith Malinga has announced his retirement from franchise cricket and had informed his decision to the MI management earlier this month before they sat down for the retention plan.
Malinga has been a Mumbai Indians legend through and through and was a part of the side since the second season of IPL. He missed the 2018 edition served as the bowling mentor of the side but returned to a playing role next season where he played a big role in Mumbai toppling CSK in the final.
The Sri Lankan legend missed the following season due to personal reasons and the bubble life is hard enough for him to continue in a playing role from now. In the 12 years he was part of the IPL, the speedster took 170 wickets from 122 appearances.
“After discussing with family, I think now is the right time to retire from all franchise cricket. The pandemic situation and the restrictions on travel will make it difficult for me given my personal circumstances to participate fully in franchise cricket for the next year and therefore it is best to make this decision now,” Malinga was quoted as saying by Mumbai Indians website.
“I have discussed the same with Mumbai Indians management in recent days as they prepare for the upcoming auction and they have been very supportive and understanding. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ambani family, everyone at the Mumbai Indians franchise, and all our fans for the wonderful 12 years.”
“Mumbai Indians has treated me like family, supporting me 100 % in every situation both on and off the field, and always giving me the confidence and the freedom to play my natural game whenever I walked onto the field.
“I have collected so many happy memories that I cherish and I am very grateful to have played for so long for the best franchise in world cricket. I would like to wish Mrs Nita Ambani, coach Mahela (Jayawardene), Akash (Ambani), and the MI family all the best for the upcoming season.”
MI look forward to having Malinga in non-playing capacity
Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani thanked the pacer for all his contribution in an MI shirt and wished him well in his retirement life. Further, Junior Ambani stressed the fact that Mumbai might wish to have him back in the set-up in a non-playing capacity in the future.
“Lasith Malinga has been at the core of Mumbai Indians for 12 years. We respect his decision, even though I would have liked him to be part of our bowling attack for another 5 years. Malinga is an MI legend. His contributions to Mumbai Indians’ journey are invaluable,” Ambani said.
“We will miss the Wankhede chant for him, but he will always be in the heart of all MI fans. At Mumbai Indians, Malinga will always be a part of the MI family and we hope we can continue to lean on his experience in a non-playing capacity in the future.”
Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians have released as many as seven names – Malinga, Mitchell McClenaghan, Nathan Coulter-Nile, James Pattinson, Sherfane Rutherford, Prince Balwant Rai, and Digvijay Deshmukh from the team.