Mumbai Indians will miss the services of their star man Lasith Maliga in the upcoming season of the Indian Premier League (IPL). The Sri Lankan legend has pulled out of the entire competition for personal reasons and to “be with family back home in Sri Lanka”, the franchise announced on Wednesday (September 2).
Lasith Malinga might be at the fag end of his glorious career but there is little denying the fact that he is still a force in the shortest format of the game. The right-arm pacer has been playing for Mumbai Indians since 2008 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. Mumbai Indians have also announced his replacement for the upcoming season. Australia pacer James Pattinson will replace the veteran in the defending champions’ squad. Pattinson is yet to play in the IPL.
“James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season,” MI owner Akash Ambani said.
“Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith’s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time,” he added.
With Lasith Malinga out of IPL 2020, 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. The 13th edition of the tournament will kick-off on September 19, although, the schedule for the tournament is yet to be announced.