Sri Lankan legend Malinga retires from all cricket
The veteran fast bowler, who made his international debut in 2004, has bid farewell to the game at the age of 38
15 September 2021, 06:56 AM AEST
Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga has announced his retirement from all forms of cricket, ending a 17-year career in which he became the highest wicket-taker in Twenty20 internationals.
Malinga, known for his unorthodox bowling action and toe-crushing yorkers, continued to play T20 matches after quitting Test cricket in 2011 and one-day internationals in 2015.
His last T20 game was against the West Indies in March 2020.
He had seemingly been holding out hope of a final T20 World Cup campaign with Sri Lanka next month, but he has dropped out of the side in the past year and was not picked in their squad earlier this week.
"Hanging up my T20 shoes and retiring from all forms of cricket," Malinga said on Twitter.
"Thankful to all those who supported me in my journey and looking forward to sharing my experience with young cricketers in the years to come."
In a video, he further added, "Today is a very special day for me. Because I want to thank each and everyone, who has supported me and blessed me throughout my T20 career. Today I decide that I want to give a 100 percent rest for my T20 bowling shoes.
"That's why I want to thank Sri Lankan Cricket Board and my team members. While my shoes will rest, my love for the game will never ask for rest. Looking forward to seeing our youngsters make history."
Malinga, who made his Sri Lanka debut against Australia in a Test in 2004, gained a reputation for his searing in-swinging yorkers that were hard to play due to his distinctive round-arm delivery action.
The 38-year-old took 546 international wickets, including a record 107 in T20s. He was a member of the squad that reached the one-day World Cup final in 2011 and captained the side that won the 2014 T20 World Cup.
Malinga is the only bowler to take four wickets in four consecutive balls twice in internationals - against South Africa in a 2007 ODI and against New Zealand in a T20 in 2019.
He struggled with injuries during his career, needing ankle surgery in 2014 and missing many matches due to a chronic knee problem.
Lasith Malinga in T20 cricket
M: 84 | Wkts: 107 | Ave: 20.79 | Econ: 7.42 | SR: 16.80 | BB: 5-6
M: 295 | Wkts: 390 | Ave: 19.68 | Econ: 7.07 | SR: 16.60 | BB: 6-7