June 8, 2012

World Twenty20 2012

Malinga the mascot

Kanishkaa Balachandran

With his distinctive hairstyles and sling-shot bowling action Lasith Malinga is one of the most marketable cricketers in Sri Lanka. Add to that his success in the Twenty20 format - he's third in the all-time list of T20 wicket-takers and has just come off a successful IPL season - and it's a no-brainer that the ICC has made him the event ambassador for the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka this September. "Lasith is a special player and one of the most recognisable cricketers in the world. Whenever he runs in to bowl with his distinctive action there is a thrill in the game," it said.

Malinga's rise to stardom from a fishing village has made him a role model for several young cricketers - more so in a cricketing culture that, like the Twenty20 format, embraces unorthodoxy. As the face of the tournament, he'll be a popular choice - just don't ask the batsmen!

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Kanishkaa Balachandran is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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Keywords: World Twenty20

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