County news February 29, 2012

Middlesex target Malinga signing


Middlesex are targeting Lasith Malinga, the Sri Lanka fast bowler, as an overseas player for the Friends Life t20, ESPNcricinfo understands.

Malinga is one of the premier Twenty20 bowlers in the world, known for his trademark slinging yorkers, and would be a crowd-puller for the English tournament which begins on June 12, with Middlesex's first game a London derby against Surrey on June 14.

Malinga has 125 wickets from 95 Twenty20 games, including 38 wickets from 31 internationals. In 2007 he had a brief spell with Kent and helped them to the title when he played on Finals Day. In the semi-final against Sussex he took 3 for 30 and then claimed 1 for 44 in the final against Gloucestershire.

Middlesex have a history of making big-name signings for Twenty20 cricket. In 2010 Adam Gilchrist, with the help of funding from the MCC, joined the club for seven matches and in the same season he was joined by David Warner, although his impact was limited to 268 runs in 13 innings at 20.61.

Middlesex had previously been linked with Chris Gayle but he joined Somerset. Other notable signings for this season's FLt20 include Saeed Ajmal at Worcestershire and Shahid Afridi at Hampshire.

Meanwhile, it is also understood that Middlesex are close to agreeing to loan out Scott Newman, the opening batsman, to Kent for the start of the season. Newman joined from Surrey in 2010 but averaged a disappointing 30.70 during Middlesex's successful County Championship campaign last year, when they won Division Two to secure promotion.

Joe Denly, who signed from Kent, is likely to open the batting in the County Championship while Sam Robson, a 22-year-old Australian-born batsman, averaged 59 last season. Middlesex may also have Andrew Strauss available once he returns from the Test series in Sri Lanka, depending on how long he is rested for by the ECB, ahead of England's first home series of the season against West Indies.

George Dobell is a senior correspondent at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Anjana on March 3, 2012, 13:00 GMT

    @kalpman; Errr.... They are looking for a world class wicket taker, and not an actor as you have suggested! So Malinga is the man they looking for. Sorry to disappoint you.

  • Asanka on March 2, 2012, 19:31 GMT

    Good luk middlesex, surely you will need some help from bowlers like malinga to change your t20 stats.....

  • Asanka on March 2, 2012, 19:29 GMT

    @ kalpman: u comparing sreesanth with malinga? funny guy. sreesanth is not in malinga's league. just because he had a bay doesnt mean malinga should be considered as weak baller. if you look into the history of the sport everyone has had a bay day. its inevitable!

  • Mark on March 2, 2012, 14:58 GMT

    Pissek, you make a good point. If he really puts body and soul into it Middlesex might just ambush a few sides this summer. Certainly Lashith Malinga coming at them under the lights will be a shock to the system of a few players. It depnds how effectively "Fireball" Dexter uses him and the support that he gets from the likes of Tim Murtagh. If he is used effectively as a shock bowler and is properly supported he could just rip through a few batting orders. However, in recent seasons the Middlesex problem has been more with batting than bowling: even when the bowlers restrict the opposition to 100, you know that Middlesex will struggle to get them. That night that Middlesex had Kent 22-7 last season, they LOST!!!

  • Dimuthu on March 1, 2012, 23:45 GMT

    Malinga always bowls his heart out and MidX will be privileged to have him. As a Surrey fan I am quite worried! He's a bowler who can turn a game in one spell. One adrenaline filled fireworks display by Kohli doesn't take anything away from the man with 3 ODI hattricks! (4 if u consider the 4 in 4 a 'double'). Without the pressure of playing for his country, Malinga will be LETHAL!

  • Mark on March 1, 2012, 13:57 GMT

    I suppose that, as a Middlesex follower, I would have to ask Malinga if he has checked Middlesex's recent T20 record and knows what he is letting himself in for! (Bottom, with 2 wins last year, 6th in their group with a massive 8 wins in 2010 and only 1 or 2 wins in 2009). Hats off to the county for trying to buy in some success but, since going to the Caribbean with the Stanford Challenge, their T20 record has been pretty grim :-).

  • John on March 1, 2012, 8:44 GMT

    I like Daran9s comms - arguably and without any doubts the best OD bowler in the world. He should do a good job @kalpman - Kohli , in that mood/form would have blitzed any bowling. Are you Sreesanths agent by the way?

  • Nilantha on February 29, 2012, 22:14 GMT

    @kalman- are u crazy?Sreesanth over Malinga?Malinga is THE best t20 bowler in the world followed by Umar Gul , there is a reason why sreesanth is free from commitments...good signing for middlesex...

  • Murali on February 29, 2012, 19:47 GMT

    Middlesex will see the difference this season with Malinga in their squad. He is arguably the best limited overs bowler in the world without any doubt. Good Luck Malinga.

  • j on February 29, 2012, 17:59 GMT

    He'll be an exciting one to watch this season.

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