IPL 2019 | Mumbai Still Hopeful of Malinga's Participation

Cricketnext Staff | Updated: March 24, 2019, 9:24 AM IST
IPL 2019 | Mumbai Still Hopeful of Malinga's Participation

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Mumbai Indians’ coach Mahela Jayawardene is hopeful that his compatriot Lasith Malinga can be part of the full IPL season and said that reports of his unavailability hadn’t been communicated to the team.

Jayawardene believes that there needs to be some sort of 'communication' before the matter is resolved.

"We need to gather our thoughts and see," Jayawardene said. "If you read the entire thing, the tournament is for four or five days in April, so till that time there's availability. When we got him in the auction, SLC gave us his availability schedule, that tournament wasn't part of that. So there is a conversation to be made and once we get through that conversation we'll let you know. It’s way too early for us to comment on whether he's going to be unavailable or whatever."

The Sri Lankan selectors had reportedly told the players that in order to play the 2019 World Cup they must play in the domestic Super Provincial One-Day tournament from April 4 to April 11. Malinga, 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.”

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.

"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."

The MI coach also played down any fears about Hardik Pandya who has been under the injury cloud after he skipped the Australia series due to a back injury. Jayawardene said that Pandya is 200% fit.

"If you see his Instagram posts for the last month and a half, you see he's been training. So he's 200% fit. He's actually too fit to be honest. We worked on his skills, because that is something he hasn't been able to. He's in very good space and raring to go."

Pandya is among those who have been subjected to the workload management matter ahead of the World Cup. MI coach Jayawardene, like Indian skipper Virat Kohli, believes it is upto the players to be responsible and not overwork themselves.

"With the Indian players, it's about the individual players - how they feel and all that. And there's a responsibility on the franchise as well, for the other international players as well who might be involved in the WCs, to make sure their workloads are managed.

"We'll do that monitoring, and we've been given their workloads as well. The countries want them to be match fit as well. Play good cricket in a good space. You can't go into the World Cup, wthout playing much cricket. That balance is something we'll make sure is maintained. And hopefully, no injuries for any of the players."
First Published: March 24, 2019, 9:15 AM IST
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