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News

Malinga appointed Sri Lanka's bowling strategy coach for white-ball series against Australia

The former fast bowler had held a similar role when Sri Lanka visited Australia for a T20I series in February

Lasith Malinga and Isuru Udana celebrate, Sri Lanka v New Zealand, 3rd T20I, Pallekele, September 6, 2019

Lasith Malinga will serve as Sri Lanka's bowling strategy coach  •  Associated Press

Lasith Malinga, the former fast bowler and captain, has been appointed Sri Lanka's bowling strategy coach for the white-ball leg of the team's home series against Australia, which gets underway on June 7 in Colombo.
"Malinga, during the tour, will support Sri Lanka's bowlers, providing tactical insight and technical expertise to help the on-field execution of strategic plans," SLC said via a press release.
Malinga had held a similar role when Sri Lanka visited Australia for a five-match T20I series in February this year. While Sri Lanka lost 4-1, the bowlers did manage to keep a lid on the scoring to an extent. The highest total that Australia could manage across five games was 164 for 6.
"Sri Lanka Cricket is confident that Malinga's vast experience and renowned death-bowling expertise, especially in the T20 format, will help the team immensely going into this all-important series," the release added.
Malinga, one of the greatest limited-overs fast bowlers Sri Lanka has produced, retired from all forms of the game in 2021. He was the leading wicket-taker in T20Is at the time with a tally of 107 in 84 outings, before being overtaken by Shakib Al Hasan.
Malinga served as bowling mentor of Mumbai Indians, back in IPL 2018, and more recently, was Rajasthan Royals' fast-bowling coach, in 2022. The Sanju Samson-led Royals reached the final of the tournament for the first time since winning the trophy in 2008 but lost to Gujarat Titans by seven wickets. Through the course of the season, several Royals players, including the likes of Trent Boult, praised Malinga for his ability to simplify the art of T20 bowling.
Sri Lanka will host Australia for three T20Is, five ODIs and three Tests. Cricket Australia had been monitoring the ongoing unrest in the island, sparked by an economic crisis, but they were always confident the tour would go ahead as planned.
Sri Lanka's Matheesha Pathirana and Nuwanidu Fernando earned maiden call-ups for the T20I series, while there was no place in the team for allrounder Dhananajaya de Silva or wicketkeeper batters Dinesh Chandimal and Niroshan Dickwella, all of whom played a key role during Sri Lanka's 1-0 win in the two-Test series in Bangladesh last month.
Pathirana, 19, earned a call-up on the back of an impressive stint with Chennai Super Kings, in the IPL. While he played only three matches, his unorthodox action turned a lot of heads.