Mumbai, January 21 (News18) – Lasith Malinga had made up his mind that he won’t be playing any franchise cricket and that is the reason Mumbai Indians had to force themselves to release one of their biggest icons ahead of the IPL auctions 2021. Earlier Malinga was not among the list of players retained for the upcoming IPL. In a press release, MI management revealed that Malinga had informed them about his decision earlier this month.
“Mumbai Indians management respects Lasith Malinga’s decision and hence he is not part of the club’s 18-member retention squad announced today, Akash Ambani, Owner, Mumbai Indians said in a press release. “Lasith Malinga has been at the core of Mumbai Indians for 12 years. We respect his decision, even though I would have liked to him to be part of our bowling attack for another 5 years,” he added.
“Malinga is an MI legend. His contributions to Mumbai Indians’ journey are invaluable. We will miss the Wankhede chant for him, but he will always be in the heart of all MI fans. At Mumbai Indians, Malinga will always be a part of the MI family and we hope we can continue to lean on his experience in a non-playing capacity in the future.”
Malinga has wished Mumbai Indians all the very best in their journey ahead, adding that this was the best time to retire from the game. “After discussing with family, I think now is the right time to retire from all franchise cricket. The Pandemic situation and the restrictions on travel will make it difficult for me given my personal circumstances to participate fully in franchise cricket for the next year and therefore it is best to make this decision now.
“I have discussed the same with Mumbai Indians management in recent days as they prepare for the upcoming auction and they have been very supportive and understanding. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ambani family, everyone at the Mumbai Indians franchise and all our fans for the wonderful 12 years.
“Mumbai Indians has treated me like family, supporting me 100 % in every situation both on and off the field, and always giving me the confidence and the freedom to play my natural game whenever I walked onto the field.
“I have collected so many happy memories that I cherish and I am very grateful to have played for so long for the best franchise in world cricket. I would like to wish Mrs Nita Ambani, coach Mahela (Jayawardene), Akash (Ambani) and the MI family all the best for the upcoming season.”