Mumbai Indians (MI) star pacer Lasith Malinga is set to miss the initial phase of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020. Malinga will not be travelling to the UAE, where the 13th season of IPL will be played from September 19 to November 10.
As per a report in EspnCricinfo, the Sri Lankan ace will not be unable to travel to the UAE as of now because his father is unwell and might need to undergo surgery soon.
Malinga is the leading wicket-taker in the IPL history with 170 wickets and last year helped MI secure a fourth title win, sealing the final against Chennai Super Kings (CSK) off the final ball. With CSK needing two to win off the last ball and one to tie, Malinga got Shardul Thakur out LBW. After his first three overs going for 42 runs, Malinga roared back to concede only seven in the decisive over of the match.
It was in March that Malinga last played any form of cricket when he featured in a T20I against West Indies at Galle. Surprisingly, in June, when Sri Lanka’s 24-member squad was announced for a second-residential training camp, Malinga was not part of it.
Rohit Sharma-led Mumbai may have numerous options in their pace reserves which this time include Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Trent Boult, Mitchell McClenaghan, Dhawal Kulkarni, and all-rounders Hardik Pandya and Kieron Pollard, but it is Malinga’s experience that they will miss more than anything else.
Although the revised official schedule of the IPL is yet to come out, MI are likely to take on CSK in the tournament opener on September 19, which was the original opener.
🚨 Official: #IPL2020 to begin on September 19 in UAE 🇦🇪
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) August 2, 2020