Malinga joins Guyana in CPL
Lasith Malinga has joined the Guyana Amazon Warriors for the last stage of the Caribbean Premier League. Malinga will replace Pakistan allrounder Mohammad Hafeez, who will leave after the league stages to play for Pakistan on their Zimbabwe tour, which starts on August 23.
The Barbados Tridents have also made a change to their squad, signing Azhar Mahmood to replace Umar Akmal. The allrounder is a sought-after player in most major domestic T20 leagues around the world. He is the fourth-highest wicket-taker in T20 cricket, with 213 wickets from 188 games, behind Alfonso Thomas, Malinga and Dirk Nannes.
Malinga, one of the most lethal fast bowlers in the shorter formats, is the third Sri Lankan to play in the CPL. Muttiah Muralitharan is part of the Jamaica Tallawahs while Mahela Jaywardene is set to join the Trinidad & Tobago Red Steel from Thursday. Malinga will be the fourth overseas player for Guyana, who had earlier signed the New Zealand pair of Martin Guptill and James Franklin along with Hafeez in the original squad.
The Antigua Hawksbills have confirmed Orlando Peters as a replacement for injured South Africa batsman Justin Kemp. Kemp was ruled out after suffering an injury to his right gluteal muscle.
The contest for the top four places will intensify as the CPL enters its last week. Guyana play Jamaica in an away match at Sabina Park in the first of the two matches on Thursday. They have won three of their five matches so far and are second on the points table behind leaders Barbados, who have played an extra game. In the second match, Antigua Hawksbills, placed fourth in the league, will take on St Lucia Zouks.
Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo