Even before the start of this year’s Indian premier League (IPL), defending champions Mumbai Indians look set to suffer a big blow with their legendary pacer Lasith Malinga likely to miss the entire competition. The thirteenth edition of the tournament is set to be played from September 19 with the final on November 19.
The entire tournament will be played in UAE because of the alarming pandemic situation in India. Mumbai Indians left for Dubai on Friday (August 21). And while Lasith Malinga was expected to join the team at a later date, he looks set to be miss the entire tournament.
According to a report in Sri Lankan news outlet Newswire, the Sri Lankan legend has opted to forego the tournament due to personal family reasons. Missing Lasith Malinga will be a big blow for Mumbai Indians who will be eyeing a record-extending fifth IPL title.
Lasith Malinga has been playing for Mumbai Indians since 2009 and is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the history of IPL with 170 scalps to his name. Last year, he had bowled the final over against Chennai Super Kings and defended 8 runs to propel his side to a record fourth title.
With Lasith Malinga likely to opt-out, Isuru Udana will be the only Sri Lankan player to participate in the IPL this year. He is gearing up to play his maiden season in the IPL. He will be plying his trade for Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Sri Lankan coaches in IPL:
Apart from Udana, former Sri Lankan cricketers Mahela Jayawardene and Muttiah Muralitharan will also be in UAE for the IPL. Jayawardene will be coaching the Mumbai Indians for the 4th consecutive season this year. Under the former Sri Lanka skipper, Mumbai Indians have won two titles in three seasons.
On the other hand, bowling legend Muttiah Muralitharan is with the Sunrisers Hyderabad camp as a mentor.