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Malinga announces retirement from all forms of cricket

Malinga announces retirement from all forms of cricket
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Colombo: Sri Lanka pace veteran Lasith Malinga on Tuesday announced his retirement from all forms of cricket after terrorising the world's best batsmen for over a decade and a half with his toe-crushing yorkers delivered from a low and distinct sling-arm action.

A white ball legend in his own right and one of the greatest T20 bowlers, the 38-year-old was captain of Sri Lanka's 2014 T20 World Cup winning team. He posted a message on his social media account announcing his decision.

"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," Malinga tweeted.

"I want to give 100 per cent rest to my T20 bowling shoes. While my shoes will rest, my love for the game will never ask for rest," a smiling Malinga added in the video.

Malinga last played a T20I match for Sri Lanka in March 2020 against West Indies in Pallekele.

Malinga, who took a total of 546 wickets across all formats for Sri Lanka, had already retired from Test cricket in 2011 and after that from ODIs as well but continued to play T20Is for the national side.

He wasn't named in Sri Lanka's squad for upcoming World Cup.

Last year, he had expressed his desire to lead Sri Lanka in the T20 World Cup, which was originally scheduled to be held in Australia in October-November 2020 but will be held next month after a COVID-forced postponement.

"I am looking forward to help youngsters and guide them in the coming years," he said as he thanked his national team and all the franchises that he has played for, including IPL team Mumbai Indians.

Malinga, who has played a staggering 122 IPL matches, has 170 wickets to his credit, the highest in the cash-rich league, with the best bowling figures of 5/13.

He picked up 107 wickets in 84 T20 Internationals, 338 scalps in 226 ODIs and 101 wickets in 30 Tests.

He was the first bowler to bag 100 T20I wickets and finishes fourth in the highest wicket-taker category in the list behind Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir and Sunil Narine.

The Sri Lanka pacer had also announced his retirement from franchise cricket in January this year after being released by Mumbai Indians.

Malinga, one of the best T20 bowlers of all time, was a key figure in the teams he played for in the Indian Premier League, the Big Bash League, the Caribbean Premier League and other franchise tournaments.

During his 12-year stint at Mumbai Indians, he was part of MI's four of the five IPL title triumphs but had opted out of the 2020 tournament due to personal reasons at a time when his father was not keeping well.

"The experience that I have gained through the past 17 years will no longer be needed in the field since I have decided to retire from T20I Cricket marking my retirement from all formats of cricket," said Malinga in a video on his YouTube channel.

He added, "But I will be continuously supporting the younger generations who strive to uplift the spirit of the game and I will always be there with all who love the game."

A fearsome pacer known for his menacing yorkers, the leading wicket-taker in T20I also has two T20I hat-tricks to his name.

Malinga also picked up three hat-tricks in ODI cricket, with his performance against South Africa in the 2007 World Cup in West Indies etched in history. "Today is a very special day for me," he said.

"I want to thank each and everyone who supported me throughout my T20 journey. I want to thank the Sri Lankan cricket board and team members. And Mumbai Indians cricket team, especially the team owners and officials.

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