Authorities keen to mend injured pace ace Malinga

Eyeing the secong leg of English tour
By S.R. Pathiravithana

The Lankan cricket authorities are still in a quandary regarding the status or the future of their pace ace Lasith Malinga. “Up to now we are still in the dark. We are yet to receive an official communication from Lasith Malinga with regard his retirement from Test Cricket,” said Sri Lanka Cricket’s Interim Committee secretary Nishantha Ranatunga last afternoon.

“We have learned that through medical reports that he is undergoing an injury which has made his cricketing future in any form of cricket very bleak.” Ranatunga added. “However our duty is to make use of all our cricketing resources and make our national team competitive in the international arena. At the same time we are planning to get him down at the first opportunity and listen to his side of the story”. Ranatunga also added that the selectors are very keen to get him down from the current Indian Premier League Tournament as soon as possible and rehabilitate his injury and make him available for the T-20 and ODI leg of the England tour.

The Lankan team is officially due to leave the island on May 10, but, the national cricketers who are on contract with the IPL have been granted time till May 18 to join the squad in England. This tour is very important for the Lankan cricketers considering that the outcome of this tour would largely play a crucial part in Sri Lanka’s chances of getting to the final four of the Cricket Test championships that will be played in England in 2013. The participants of this play off will be made known at this end of 2011.
Meanwhile in an AFP news item dated April 22 said Injury-prone paceman Lasith Malinga on Friday stunned Sri Lanka by quitting Test cricket in a bid to prolong his career in one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches.

Chief selector Duleep Mendis hit out at the 27-year-old's handling of the announcement, saying the bowler -- who has pierced eyebrows, dyed blond locks and a distinctive slinging action -- had not informed them of his decision.

The colourful Malinga is on top form for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and recently made himself unavailable for Sri Lanka's Test series in England, attracting criticism that he had chosen club over country.

“In January this year I wrote a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket and released a statement to the media confirming that I planned to reassess my Test future after the World Cup,” he said in a statement.
“I decided that I needed to make myself unavailable for Test cricket in an effort to prolong my career as a national cricketer for Sri Lanka.

“Although I am sufficiently fit to play both ODI and T20 cricket, I have a long-standing degenerative condition in my right knee that needs to be carefully managed.” Mendis said the paceman's decision to quit had come as a nasty shock.

“Lasith is an employee of Sri Lanka Cricket. He must have the courtesy to inform or discuss his retirement plans with us first, without releasing statements to the media,” Mendis told AFP in Colombo.
“I did try to return to Test cricket after a three-year absence last year following requests from the team management and the selectors, but it left me unfit nursing severe knee pain for two months,” Malinga said.

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