Lasith Malinga joins Sri Lankan team in a new capacity for upcoming Australia series
Lasith Malinga, the 2014 T20 World Cup-winning captain of Sri Lanka, declared his retirement from all forms of cricket. Malinga, who is known for his toe-crushing yorkers, has twice claimed four wickets in four deliveries in international cricket. Malinga made his Test debut against Australia in July 2004. Malinga made his first ODI appearance 16 days after his Test debut.
On Thursday, Sri Lanka appointed Lasith Malinga as their "bowling strategy coach" for the eight one-day matches against Australia that begin next week. The 38-year-old's skill and experience, according to Sri Lanka Cricket, would be important for the three T20 matches and five one-day internationals to be played in Colombo and Kandy. Malinga will provide tactical insight and technological knowledge to improve the on-field implementation of strategic initiatives, the board added.
Sri Lanka Cricket believes Malinga's enormous experience and famous death-bowling expertise, particularly in the T20 format, will be invaluable to the side in this crucial series.
In July 2019, Malinga announced his retirement from ODI cricket, and in March 2020, he announced his retirement from T20 cricket. He took 338 ODI wickets and 107 T20 wickets in addition to 101 Test wickets.
The Australian team arrived in Colombo on Wednesday night for the first time in six years for an all-format series against Sri Lanka. They will also play two Tests, one in Galle and the other in Colombo.
Meanwhile, Rumesh Ratnayake has been selected as Sri Lanka's interim coach for the upcoming tour to Australia. The former Sri Lanka pace bowler will not accompany the rest of the team to Australia. Instead, because he is still in isolation after testing positive for Covid-19, he will join before the first T20I.
On Wednesday, SLC confirmed the squad for the tour, with Danushka Gunathilaka and Kusal Mendis making their comebacks after their one-year bans were lifted earlier this month, while Niroshan Dickwella was left out.