South Africa domestic cricket January 28, 2010

Lasith Malinga to miss Pro20 tournament

Cricinfo staff

Lasith Malinga has been excluded from the Highveld Lions team for the domestic Standard Bank Pro20 tournament, on fitness grounds. The move to pull the overseas fast bowler out of the squad was driven by the Sri Lankan cricket board.

With 24 wickets at an average of 20.83 for Sri Lanka and a successful stint with the Mumbai Indians in the IPL, Malinga is a proven performer in the Twenty20 version. He had signed a short-term contract with the Highveld Lions in October. His absence comes as a setback to the team's coach Dave Nosworthy.

"This is a very disappointing situation, as Malinga would have been a great asset in the team and we would have had a death-bowling specialist to be feared.

"At this stage we also sit with three of our front line bowlers on the injury list in Andre Nel, Craig Alexander and Friedel de Wet - which makes things even tougher. However, all these things mean is that someone else gets the opportunity to step up to the plate which excites me," Nosworthy said.