Mumbai Indians have suffered a major blow as Sri Lanka veteran Lasith Malinga has made himself unavailable for at least the first six matches of the upcoming 12th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL).
Malinga has ruled himself out as he will be participating in Sri Lanka’s Super Provincial One-Day domestic tournament to fulfil the requirement of World Cup team selection.
Malinga was roped in by Mumbai Indians at the 2019 IPL auction for an INR 2 crore. However, he had clarified the franchise about his World Cup commitments. He is the ODI skipper of Sri Lanka and is now also the captain of the Galle side in the Super Provincial tournament. The tournament begins from April 4 and will continue till April 11.
“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 to 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.”
Since Malinga will be out of IPL 2019 for almost Mumbai’s half league campaign, he has urged the franchise to replace him for the whole of the tournament.