"I feel that if I get the chance to play the World Cup, I will," said Malinga, who took 5 for 44 in the second ODI against England in Dambulla. "It will be my last World Cup. I'm not expecting to get the chance, given the kinds of things that have happened to me over the recent past. But I will take it if it is given."
The 35-year-old picked up his eighth five-wicket haul but couldn't save his team from going down by 31 runs (DLS method). The Eoin Morgan-led side were cruising at 190 for 3 in the 37th over before Malinga took command and showed a glimpse of his old self to stop England from getting that final flourish. England finished on 278 for 9 in 50 overs but the home side failed to chase down the target in a rain-marred game.
The right-arm pacer was recalled for the 2018 Asia Cup after a year in limbo. Malinga impressed in the very first match against Bangladesh, picking up 4 for 23. He breached 140kph several times in the Asia Cup, and did the same on Friday against England.
Earlier in the year, Malinga gave the domestic provincial one-day tournament a miss to work as a bowling consultant with Mumbai Indians, leading to questions over his future for the country. However, he made it back after good performances in Canada's Global T20 and Sri Lanka’s domestic T20 tournament.
"The selectors are entitled to make those decisions," Malinga said. "I'm just a player. My only job is to play when I get the chance. When I was out of the team, I went and played in Canada. I also played the district competition and got the highest wickets. Thanks to those performances I got another chance at this level. Because I'm nearing the end of my career I'm motivated to get wickets."
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First Published: October 14, 2018, 11:05 AM IST