ST MORITZ: Sri Lankan star bowler Lasith Malinga has hinted at possible retirement, saying that he is mentally done with international cricket now that his eventful IPL career is over. Malinga was on Wednesday appointed as bowling mentor of Mumbai Indians. The Sri Lankan has been the core of Mumbai Indians winning combination in the last decade. He has donned the prestigious Mumbai Indians jersey in 110 matches of the 157 games the franchise has played so far.
“Mentally I am over with playing cricket. I don’t think I will play anymore international cricket. I am planning to announce my retirement soon,” Malinga said on the sidelines of the St Moritz Ice Cricket Challenge. “I have not spoken to Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) but once I go back I will have to again go through domestic grind, see how my body responds. But now as my IPL career is also over and I am starting a new chapter with Mumbai Indians, I might not play again,” he added.
Malinga knows it would be tough not to play in front of a capacity Wankhede Stadium crowd wearing the Mumbai Indians blue jersey but admitted that in his heart he knew that his time was up. “Everyone gets that signal. Even the great Wasim Akram knew when his time was up,” he said.
“I was not surprised at their decision not to have retained me. I had 10 very good years with Mumbai Indians and I achieved a lot. But this year, the owners spoke to me and told me about their vision going forward. They wanted to create a good team for the next three years. I also understand that my time in competitive cricket is over now.” The Sri Lankan slinger said he is looking forward to the new chapter of his life as a mentor.
“I am 34-years-old and not getting any younger. And I feel this is the right time to make a career move. Mumbai Indians had the mentorship role in mind and I am happy to start a new innings,” said Malinga, who has a record 331 T20 wickets across 248 games (international plus franchise).