Colombo: Sri Lanka stalwart Lasith Malinga is set to miss the initial games of IPL 2020 due to some personal reasons. The 13th edition of the IPL, is scheduled to be played across three venues in Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah in UAE from September 19 due to the outbreak of Coronavirus pandemic in India.
The right-arm fast bowler and current T20I captain of Sri Lanka, Malinga, is one of the most valuable players in the IPL for Mumbai Indians since 2008. He is also the highest wicket-taker, picking 170 wickets in 122 games at an average of 19.80.
Malinga’s father has been unwell and may need surgery in the coming weeks. He wants to be by his father’s side during his treatment procedures. Malinga would have to remain in quarantine for 14 days if he flew to the UAE and then returned back to visit his father at any point as Sri Lanka Government imposed a strict protocol of mandatory 14 days quarantine for people entering the country due to the pandemic. That can be the key factor in his decision.
He will be training in Colombo and likely to join Mumbai Indians during the business end of the lucrative tournament, including the playoffs. Though Mumbai have affluent options in their pace department, including Japrit Bumrah, Mitchell McCleneghan, Hardik Pandya for this season, it is obvious that they will miss Malinga’s unmatchable charm and experience more than anything.