World T20 2016 March 14, 2016

Malinga flies to India; still recovering from 'bone bruise'

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Lasith Malinga had hinted at retiring after the World T20 © Associated Press

Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga, who has been under an injury cloud, has finally flown to India for the World T20. The rest of his team-mates are already in the country, but Malinga had to stay behind to undergo treatment on his left knee. He is still doubtful for Sri Lanka's opening game, though, against Afghanistan on March 17.

Malinga described his injury as a "bone bruise". Doctors say it occurs as a result of sustaining forceful impacts while playing sports. In the case of a bowler like Malinga, his left knee supports his entire body weight during his delivery stride.

"This is a bone injury that cannot be operated or treated medically. I am having only some injections [not pain killers] to make it heal. The only remedy for it is rest," Malinga said at the airport in Colombo on Sunday. "I will practice in the next few days with the team and see how my knee is taking up the pressure. If I don't feel any pain I will play in the opening match, but if not it is a decision for the selectors to make."

Malinga has been nursing this injury since last December. He missed the two-match series against New Zealand, came back for the Asia Cup in his designated role as Twenty20 captain, but was sidelined immediately after a match-winning display against UAE. In fact, Malinga has played only five of Sri Lanka's 13 T20Is since the start of 2015, in a very scattered manner: one match in May, one in July, one in August, two in November and his final game was in February 2016.

Malinga's fitness issues forced a change in leadership and Angelo Mathews was appointed captain of Sri Lanka for the World T20. But the selection panel - both the current one led by Aravinda de Silva and the previous one led by Kapila Wijegunawardene - seemed reluctant to completely rule Malinga out because of the impact he can have. He is the most successful bowler in the World T20 - 38 wickets in 31 matches. Overall he has 299 wickets in T20 cricket.

Malinga, who had hinted at retiring after the World T20, said on the flight to Kolkata: "Why do the selectors want to pick a half-fit bowler like me when there are other fit bowlers around?"

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • SL_Fan_5 on March 15, 2016, 10:57 GMT

    Rest Malinga for the Afgan game. It's a risk, but more risk if he can't play any other games. Rather we have him for the last 2-3. If he doesn't play, our chances of getting past the initial stages are pretty dim. I'd also pick Jayasuriya instead of Shanaka. He is a better fielder and brings a few overs of spin. Dilshan... You got to get more than a duck for us to even have a chance. Hope is all we have. Time for the prayers.

  • SnGomes on March 14, 2016, 22:51 GMT

    @MANOJKRIS Malinga will miss a part of the IPL as well, He has already missed games in the previous seasons. be careful what you say about him.

  • Desihungama on March 14, 2016, 20:06 GMT

    MaaaLinga. Good to see you have made it. It will be last for Malinga, Afridi, Dhoni (maybe).

  • Cricinfouser on March 14, 2016, 19:27 GMT

    Past performance is no guarantee for future performance. We Sri Lankan's have a weakness in being unable to look objectively at situations, in particular at team selection. We bask in past glories, re living it endlessly and hope for a "magical silver bullet performance" that will bring that glory once again. The players must be put on notice that you will be given a set time within which to deliver consistent performance, i.e. 6 matches. If you look at the present team, even Dilshan has not delivered consistency and Malinga too. Thisara should not be in the team. When did Thisara last perform ? Even a schoolboy will know how to get him out ! The mantra is " we have to be patient with the youngsters" sure for how long ? Be professional and when you pull on that SL shirt, be prepared to leave it all on that field and walk off knowing that you had nothing more to give in effort. Only the player will know the effort he put in and if he did give 100%. Lets hope they all give 100 % to SL

  • CricketZoysa on March 14, 2016, 18:24 GMT

    I dont think Shehan Jayasuriya should be there in this squad. I would try to send him back and get probably Mendis or Suraj Randiv. In addition Randiv is an amazing fielder. Dilshan's and Mathews inconsistencies with the bat are worrying.....I cannot see SL qualifying on current form......we might be lucky to beat Afghanistan on current level of confidence and inconsistency. Chameera should bowl in the first 6 overs. It would make sense if Malinga is unfit to get Eranga, Nuwan Pradeep, D. Fenando or Rajitha,

  •   Mahesh Jayasuriya on March 14, 2016, 17:03 GMT

    Here i want to see Malinga bowling with Chameera to always get disappointed hopefully this time it won't be and what we sri lankans are lacking is not winning ability but the fighting spirit we are team known for fighting till the end but what we did on last matches was to waiting for something to happen but we have to make it happen not wait till it happen

    Malinga been with the team will be a good thing atleast he could help the teams fast bowlers with his experience because he's the leader of bowling unit even though he is not captain

    and need Dilshan to make runs and i wonder if he have forgotten the basics of batting if you can't take 4's and 6's take ones and twos to settle down on the wicket then he can go for big ones unless his old age isn't catching up with him LOL

  • Cricinfouser on March 14, 2016, 15:30 GMT

    Past performance is no guarantee for future performance. We Sri Lankan's have a weakness in being unable to look objectively at situations, in particular at team selection. We bask in past glories, re living it endlessly and hope for a "magical silver bullet performance" that will bring that glory once again. The players must be put on notice that you will be given a set time within which to deliver consistent performance, i.e. 6 matches. If you look at the present team, even Dilshan has not delivered consistency and malinga too. Thisara should not be in the team. When did Thisara last perform ? Even a schoolboy will know how to get him out ! The mantra is " we have to be patient with the youngsters" sure for how long ? Be professional and when you pull on that SL shirt, be prepared to leave it all on that field and walk off knowing that you had nothing more to give in effort. Only the player will know the effort he put in. Lets hope they all give 100%

  • srikanthanethirraj on March 14, 2016, 15:03 GMT

    After 1996 world cup, what happened to sl in 1999 is going to be repeated again.

  • srikanthanethirraj on March 14, 2016, 14:53 GMT

    Some bad news. The mihin Lanka on which malinga was about to fly is having technical issues.

  •   Abbas Bhai on March 14, 2016, 14:48 GMT

    team need little changers in betting order because top 5 betting persons are very reaponsible no one can lose fire,added someone open to fire and free his arm,then team will reach target 150+ easy and bring back ajantha mendis to side he is the only second to malinga to leading wicket taker in t20,,selectors why you missed him,because perera and siriwardana borth are same caractor players,please change their batting possiotns

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