When people talk about one of the fastest bowlers across the globe, Lasith Malinga makes it to the list easily. Born in the coastal village of Rathgama in Sri Lanka, he is one of the most revered fast bowlers who shattered numerous wickets with his fatal swing and paced bowling. His ability to take wickets simultaneously made numerous batsmen find their legs shaking with lacking confidence. He is responsible for winning numerous matches for his national team as well as the domestic teams he played for.
|Born: 28 August 1983||Nationality: Sri Lankan|
|Years Active: (2004-2020)||Birth Place: Rathgama, Sri Lanka|
|Height: 5 ft 7 in||Role: Bowler|
|Bowling Style: Right-arm fast||Batting Style: Right-handed bat|
|Nickname:Kagawena, Yorker King, Mali, Malingathe Slinga, Rathgama Express|
Malinga’s father Separamadu Milton is a retired bus mechanic who used to fix buses in their native village for making a living. Lasith Malinga has a beautiful family now, with his wife and children. He married his wife Tanya Perera, a dancer and choreographer on 22nd January 2010. He now shares a girl and a boy named Duvin with her.
His cricket-obsessed village of Rathgama often found him playing crickets on the sandy beaches and coconut groves. During his secondary education, he caught the eyes of former Sri Lankan fast bowler Champaka Ramanayake, who was impressed with his raw bowling abilities. His abilities earned him an invite to the Galle cricket club. Under his assistance, he made it to the starting XI of Mahinda College, Galle. During his time here, a temporary initiative to tweak his bowling stance led to a slower pace and lesser effectiveness. Within a shorter period, he returned to his original bowling action, gaining his confidence and prowess back.
Lasith Malinga achieved immediate success on his debut test match against Australia in 2004, where he tumbled six Australian heavyweights. His performances earned him the respect of the then-Australian dressing room. His ODI match came in the opening match of the 2004 Asia cup against UAE. He tumbled the wicket of the UAE captain in the match and slowly cemented his position in the ODI squad.
World cup tournaments were the major platforms that saw him rise to the annals of glory. In every world cup tournament, Sri Lanka rested its hopes on the bowling prowess of Lasith Malinga to win tight matches and take swift wickets. During the 2007 world cup match of the last eight against South Africa, he became the first player to take four consecutive wickets in an ODI match. Though Malinga boosted Sri Lankan hopes with his bowling prowess, they succumbed to South Africa with ten balls remaining.
The 2011 world cup saw him gain his second career hat trick in the world Cup against Kenya. His performances earned him the 12th man’s role in the ICC’s team of the tournament. He made it to a couple of teams in the tournaments like the 2009 T20 world cup as well as 2012 and 2013.
His return from the 2016 injury proved his bowling prowess once again, as he continued to rule the white ball cricket for a couple of years more.
Injuries ushered a low point in Malinga’s career after he injured his back and knee following the series against West Indies. He missed the New Zealand and India tour, with the hope of recovering before the 2016 T20 world cup. Though he was appointed the captain of Sri Lanka in the 2016 Asia cup, he could play only one match against the UAE and had to miss the rest of the tournament owing to a knee injury. His flurry of injuries forced him to step down as the captain of the Sri Lankan national team.
He started his captaincy journey as the Vice-captain of the Sri Lankan T20 in 2012. 2014 saw him rise to the ranks of a skipper after Dinesh Chandimal's ban. He led the team to the 2014 ICC T20 world cup victory. He had to step down in 2015 due to injury hurdles. Though he was reappointed the captain in the 2016 match against India, the Sri Lankan ship sank. In 2018, he got appointed as the skipper for the New Zealand tour.
Due to his lowering bowling pace, Lasith Malinga announced his premature retirement from test cricket in 2011. The decision was to facilitate a longer T20 and ODI career. He played his last ODI match against Bangladesh in 2019. Two years later in 2021, he announced his superannuation from T20 cricket.
Lasith Malinga had one of the most illustrious careers for the Sri Lankan national team. His bowling prowess dominated across the international and domestic games till the very end. He also assumed the coaching duties of the IPL franchise Mumbai Indians for the 2017 season.
|Matches: 226||Run Scored: 567|
|Bowling Average: 28.87||Wickets Taken: 338|
|Best Bowling Figures: 6/38||Economy: 5.35|
|Matches: 84||Run Scored: 136|
|Bowling Average: 20.79||Wickets Taken: 107|
|Best Bowling Figures: 5/6||Economy: 7.42|
|Matches: 30||Runs Scored: 275|
|Bowling Average: 33.16||Wickets Taken: 101|
|Best Bowling Figures: 5/50||Economy: 3.86|
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