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POST TIME: 14 September, 2021 07:24:51 PM / LAST MODIFIED: 14 September, 2021 07:28:50 PM
Lasith Malinga retires from T20s to close out playing career
Malinga retires as the leading wicket-taker in T20Is
ESPN Cricinfo

Lasith Malinga retires from T20s to close out playing career

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Sri Lanka's most successful limited-overs fast bowler Lasith Malinga has announced his retirement from T20s, the last format he was active in, to close out an illustrious career. Malinga retires from the format with 390 wickets overall - behind only Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir and Sunil Narine - and 107 wickets in T20Is, the most by anyone at the time of his decision.

Malinga, 38, had announced his ODI retirement in July 2019, but had continued to keep himself available for T20 internationals with an eye on the T20 World Cup that was originally slated for 2020. At the time, he had also indicated that he was looking to play beyond the World Cup itself.

In 2020, after the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, he had pulled out of the IPL's 2020 season for personal reasons. By the time Sri Lanka announced their squad for the T20 World Cup - which was pushed back by a year - Malinga hadn't played any serious cricket since March 2020, and it was no surprise that his name didn't feature.

On Tuesday, he announced his retirement via his YouTube channel.

"Today is a very special day for me," he said. "I want to thank each and everyone who supported me throughout my T20 journey. Today I decide I want to give 100% rest for my T20 bowling shoes. I want to thank the Sri Lankan cricket board and team members. And Mumbai Indians cricket team, especially the team owners and officials.

[I would also like to thank] the team members and staff at Melbourne Stars, Kent, Rangpur Riders, Guyana Warriors, Maratha Arabians and Montreal Tigers. When I played with you all, I got many experiences through my cricketing journey.

"I want to share all my experience in the future, especially with young cricketers who want to play cricket who have dreams to play franchise cricket and with their national team. I feel I can share my experience with you all. Again, thanks a lot."

KK