Former Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, said got many fans in India and all over the world when he played with Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League.
As quoted by the official website of MI, Malinga said, “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 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,” he added.
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“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.
Malinga’s stint with MI had ended on a rather memorable note too – with a last-ball win that earned Mumbai Indians a record fourth IPL trophy in 2019.
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Malinga further said: “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 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 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.