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Lasith Malinga

The return of Blondie

Sri Lanka's slinger collects tennis balls, cooks curry, and loves his mobile phone to bits

Lasith Malinga is all smiles, Colombo, December 16, 2008
God's in his heaven and all's right with the world now that I've got me golden curls back © ESPNcricinfo Ltd

Why did you cut your hair?
I was out of cricket for more than a year as I was injured, so I cut it. But I'm growing back my hair. I miss it. I'm getting it back.

Anything we don't know about you?
Before coming into the Sri Lankan team I had never been to a cricket ground to watch an international match.

Your knee injury was supposedly miraculously cured in five days by a mystic healer. Will that give you supernatural powers on the cricket field as well?!
It was unbelievable how he healed me in five days. I think it helps me and I feel I have magic powers now!

What's that tattoo on your arm?
The date of my debut [July 1, 2004], the date of the world record [March 27, 2007] - four wickets in four balls in the 2007 World Cup against South Africa, my Test number (99), and the line "Believe in my myself. I got speed."

Have you ever bowled a 100mph delivery?
Not yet, but I'm hoping to.

Are you a collector of anything?
I love playing tennis-ball cricket, so I collect a lot of tennis balls.

What's your favorite music?
Sinhalese. I really enjoy listening to Chamara Weerasinghe.

Are you good at dancing?
No, not at all.

Who is the best singer in the dressing room?
Chaminda Vaas, and Malinga Bandara now.

Tell us about something unusual you recently did that you enjoyed?
When I was playing county cricket last time in England, I drove from London to Kent at 240kph - definitely better than bowling a 100mph fast one!

Can you cook? If yes, what's your best dish?
Yes, very much. My favourite dish is Sri Lankan curry and rice.

What's the most unusual food you've ever tasted?
Teppanyaki - it was really nice. I had it when I went with Sanath [Jayasuriya] to a Japanese restaurant during the IPL in South Africa.

If your house were on fire what would be the first thing you grab?
My mobile phone.

If you were to design your own t-shirt, what words would you put on it?
"I've got speed."

If you wanted to be any other fast bowler in history who would it be (and why)?
No one but myself.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at Cricinfo

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