Malinga's plans of turning up for Mumbai Indians this season had been thrown into jeopardy after it was revealed that the Sri Lankan selectors had told players that in order to play the 2019 World Cup they must take part in the domestic Super Provincial One-Day tournament. Malinga, who is the Sri Lankan ODI and T20I captain had decided to fulfill the requirements which meant he would have to sit out of at least six Mumbai Indians matches.
However, after talks with the Mumbai franchise, SLC has decided to let Malinga pass the domestic tournament in a bid to play the more competitive IPL.
"Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) decided to give permission to Mr. Lasith Malinga to play in the ongoing IPL tournament," read a release from SLC.
"The management decided to release Malinga from participating in the Super Provincial One Day Tournament; since he would get an opportunity to play with much stronger opposition in the IPL tournament; which consist of international players."
The 35-year-old is the tournament's highest wicket-taker having returned 154 wickets at an average of 19.01, and an economy rate of 6.86. He was not picked up in last year's auction and instead served as a mentor for MI but was brought for INR 2 Cr this time around by the Mumbai based franchise.
Maling's inclusion comes as a massive boost for MI, who lost their opening game against Delhi Capitals at home. With Adam Milne also injured, MI went with a slightly weakened pace unit in their opening game and paid the price. Their next encounter will be against Royal Challengers Bangalore on Thursday.
First Published: March 26, 2019, 6:57 PM IST