March 12, 2009

Back and raring to go - Lasith Malinga

Cricinfo staff

Like all Sri Lankans I was shocked by the recent attacks on the Sri Lanka team bus in Lahore and was ver y relieved when news finally came through that everyone had escaped very serious injury. The very next day after their arrival back home I was visiting the guys in the Nawaloka hospital and hearing first-hand their terrifying stories.

Fortunately, we now have a short break from international cricket so the guys can take some time off to rest and relax with their families. The more seriously injured guys, like Thilan (Samaraweera) and Ajantha (Mendis), will also need some time to recover from their injuries and get back into top physical shape.

The rest of Sri Lanka's cricketers are now gearing up for the Inter Provincial Twenty20 tournament starting at the end of this month. It should be a very competitive tournament with everyone keen to make an impression with the final selection for the ICC World Twenty20 Series just a few weeks away.

Personally, I am very excited about playing. My comeback has been continuing well with mostly one-day matches for NCC, my club. Its been a really long rehabilitation and it has been difficult being as patient as I need to be because I was desperate to get back playing again after a full year on the sidelines.

The good news is that I am back and fully fit. The knee pain has gone completely and my body is feeling strong. I have been bowling quick and picking-up some wickets, although I still have some way to go until I am back to my pre-injury best.

In fact, my objective right now is to become a better bowler. I need to develop my bowling and keep improving all the time. The competition for places in the Sri Lanka team for all forms of the game is now really intense for the fast bowlers. If you are not in form or are slightly unfit then you will not make the final cut.

So this is going to be a big year for me. I am looking forward to the Provincial T20 and then of course the Indian Premier League which I missed last year. This will hopefully give me a chance to hone my skills and form for the ICC World Twenty20 so that I get selected.