Yorker-loving, hair-raising, eyebrow-piercing Sri Lankan sensation
© A Bellyful of Dreams
The Slinga, The Pocket Rocket, The Sidewinder
In a nutshell
Speedy bowler with an eye peeled for the blockhole, a sideways action, and a bird's nest on his head. Old-timers may find it easy to think of him as Jeff Thomson plus technicolour hair.
Malinga's coiffure has been produced by a Bollywood set designer who was given unfettered access to the finest blowtorches, acids and polymers known to man. Or rather more prosaically, by Colombo hairdresser Nishantha Jayasekera, who took a mere two days over his confection. "Malinga likes to stand out, so he goes for unusual styles unlike the other well-known cricketers," said Jayasekera. Now you tell us.
Malinga learned his cricket on the beaches of Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka's west-coast tourist paradise, with a tennis ball that was shaved and then burned to make it harder. Hence the round-arm action, so the ball didn't bounce miles high, see? "The first time I ever picked up a leather ball, it felt so heavy, so strange, like something from out of the world," he revealed.
He kisses the ball before he runs up, because when you're the sexiest cricketer alive - more of which later - you're allowed to do just about anything. Sort of like Sreesanth, then, though much less irritating.
Notable claim to fame
He took four in four against South Africa in a World Cup game, shaving a few years off the lifespans of the South African team and making a cigarette smoker out of Graeme Smith in the process.
Dubious claim to fame
Malinga almost brought about a change in the colour of the umpires' trousers after the opposition claimed his release was not visible against the black of said trousers.
What you may not have known about him
He used to be good at math in school.
If you don't sling, don't ring.
Malinga recently consulted a doctor who "works with supernatural powers and herbs", Eliyantha White, who helped him overcome injury and speed to fitness again. "I don't know what he does and how he does it but it works," Malinga beamed.
Er, maybe not.
"Freak Like Me"
Yes, our Lasith has a subversively pierced eyebrow - all the better to distract the batsman with cunning glints of sunlight off the stud embedded therein.
No skunks were harmed in the making of this player.
What they say
"He is a good cricketer, but not a decent-looking gentleman."
Ranjith Chandrasekera, a Sri Lankan who was singularly unimpressed with Malinga being voted the sexiest cricketer at the last World Cup
What he's promised to do if he becomes Prime Minister of Sri Lanka
Declare styling gel a basic necessity.
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