"We were waiting on Adam's fitness because he got injured four weeks back. So we were waiting to hear about his progress. We had report two days back saying that he is not 100 per cent fit and he may not be fit take part in the extended IPL. We have realised that we need a replacement but we have got enough resources to make up for that," MI coach Mahela Jayawardene told reporters in Mumbai on Saturday evening.
Joining Milne on the sidelines is Lasith Malinga, who has opted out of Mumbai Indians' first six matches of IPL 2019 in a bid to qualify for Sri Lanka's World Cup squad.
The Sri Lankan selectors have reportedly told the players that in order to play the 2019 World Cup they must play in the domestic Super Provincial One-Day tournament which runs from April 4 to April 11. Malinga, who was purchased by Mumbai for INR 2 Cr has decided to fulfill the requirements.
“I had asked the [Sri Lanka] board for a No-Objection Certificate for me to play in the IPL, and they had said that was fine, but that all players who want to go to the World Cup would need to stay back for the provincial tournament,” Malinga was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“So I told them I’d play in the provincial tournament, and I asked the board to inform Mumbai Indians and IPL, since it was their decision. I’m okay with losing those earnings from IPL. I’m doing it for the country.”
The 35-year-old pacer further stated that it would be, in fact, better for the Mumbai based franchise if they replace him for the whole tournament as he will have to miss a chunk of the games at the start. Malinga is the tournament's highest wicket-taker having picked up 154 wickets at an average of 19.01, and an economy rate of 6.86.
"Once I become available for Mumbai Indians, I would have missed seven or eight games," he said. "So there's probably no point in them waiting around for me. Better for them to find someone else to replace me with."
MI coach Jayawardene said that the team will speak to Sri Lanka Cricket over the situation with Malinga. "Report about Malinga came in last night. We need to gather our thoughts. When we got him at the auction, Sri Lanka Cricket gave his availability schedule and this tournament wasn't part of that. That is a separate conversation to be made and we'll let you know what happens after we have a word with SLC," Jayawardene said ahead of the IPL-12 opening match against Delhi Capitals on Sunday.
First Published: March 22, 2019, 9:45 PM IST