T20 legend Lasith Malinga bids final goodbye to the format as he now retires from all three
Sri Lankan cricketer and one of the greatest cricket icons in the world, Lasith Malinga has decided to bid adieu to T20 cricket, the only remaining format where the bowler till recently delivered his magic spell.
As the International Cricket Council (ICC) rightly calls the 38-year-old ‘the king of yorker’, announced his retirement on Tuesday and the fans and cricket experts saw the news with the light of day, wishes and tributes started pouring on social media.
The international cricketing body made a montage with all the greatest moments of his career as it captioned the tweet referring to him as the “King of the Yorker”.
The bowler was an inspiration to many whenever he stepped on the field. The fast bowler was known for his thunderous yorkers and wherever he was faced with a difficult opposition, he had the ability to deliver almost at all times. Master of death overs and turning the game around in the whisk, there was absolutely nothing Malinga could not control when in form.
Even in the Indian Premier League, the bowler has been one of the most successful and efficient purchases made by any team.
While announcing the tweet, he said, “Hanging up my #T20 shoes and #retiring from all forms of cricket! Thankful to all those who supported me in my journey, and looking forward to sharing my experience with young cricketers in the years to come”
WHo better than his very valuable teammate Kumar Sangakara to lead the tribute, one of the most looked up bowlers in the world. Sangakara congratulated Malinga for having such an elaborate cricketing career and also thanked him for his contribution to not only Sri Lankan cricket but also world cricket. “All the very best in what you decide to do from now. So much knowledge to give. Legend,” said the former Sri Lankan captain.
Malinga’s teammate and captain in the IPL, Indian opener Rohit Sharma also took to twitter to acknowledge the contribution of the bowling legend to world cricket. Another congratulations came from one fast bowler to another as Jasprit Bumrah also hoped for the best for the cricketer saying that future has everything good in store for him.
The bowling fraternity has always been thankful of Malinga’s contribution and even the best of the bowlers of this generation, look up to the ‘Yorker King’ for spirit and will. He has played 226 ODI’s till now taking 338 scalps in the white ball cricket.
It was actually the shortest format where Malinga really shined. He came with his own set of innovations and set a competitive edge for other bowlers to tackle the toughest of batsmen. Malinga claimed 107 T20 international wickets with an economy of 7.42 in 83 innings. Especially in this format, he was among the first and most successful bowlers to use wide yorkers at the death, taking the batsmen by surprise every time it got to them.
Even though Malinga started with the hard ball cricket towards his late teens, he was made to be an integral part of the Sri Lankan men’s team. He led the attack in the 2009 and 2012 T20 World Cups and these two were the years when the team made it to the finals. He was also the captain of the team when the team won the World Cup in 2014. The list of his achievements remains endless. His last international match was in 2020 and now, at 38, the cricketer bid adieu to the remaining format as well.