Veteran Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga will retire from One-Day International cricket after the first match of a three-match series against Bangladesh, skipper Dimuth Karunaratne said on Monday.
Malinga was named in the Sri Lanka squad for the series with matches scheduled for July 26, 28 and 31 at the R. Premadasa Stadium in Colombo.
But speaking at the team's press conference in the Sri Lankan capital, Karunaratne confirmed the 35-year-old fast bowler and former captain would only appear in the first game.
"He is going to play the first match. After that he is retiring. That's what he said to me. I don't know what he said for the selectors but for me he said he is playing only one match," said Karunaratne.
Malinga, 35, will leave as Sri Lanka's third highest wicket-taker in ODI cricket with 335 wickets in 219 innings so far. Only Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) have taken more wickets than Malinga in ODIs for Sri Lanka.
Malinga is currently placed 10th on the overall wicket-takers' list and will have the chance to leapfrog Anil Kumble (337 wickets).
Malinga retired from Test cricket in 2011 but continued to remain available in other formats since then.
He was Sri Lanka's highest wicket-taker at the 2019 World Cup, claiming 13 scalps in seven innings. With figures of 4 for 43, Malinga helped Sri Lanka topple England, who went on to win the cup, in the group stage.
Overall, the right-arm paceman has scalped 56 wickets in four editions of this competition and is only behind Glenn McGrath (71) and Muttiah Muralitharan (68).
Malinga will continue to play T20Is for Sri Lanka. “I want to play in the T20 World Cup and then end my career,” he had said earlier this year.