Veteran Sri Lanka cricketer and the captain of nation’s T20 team, Lasith Malinga has faced a lot of upbraiding ever since he pulled out his name from the Lanka Premier League (LPL) 2020. The ‘yorker specialist’ announced withdrawal from LPL 2020 last week citing lack of time for preparation.
However, after Malinga decided to opt-out from the inaugural edition of LPL, fans have criticized the pacer and questioned his patriotism as well.
Some of the fans remarked that Malinga was willing to play the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2020, but did not make any effort to feature in own country’s tournament. But, Malinga had backed out of IPL 2020 as well citing ‘personal reasons’.
Now, Malinga has hit back at those criticizing him unnecessarily to play cricket by leaving out the lack of preparation aspect.
“Some will wonder why lack of preparation is a problem for someone who has played so much cricket. You can’t do this by just preparing in your gym at home,” Malinga told Newswire as quoted by India Today.
“Before I bowl a yorker in a match, I practice bowling that delivery about a thousand times. It is not something that happens by accident,” he added.
The legendary T20 bowler articulated that if he fails to bowl yorkers in LPL 2020, fans would then tease him by saying that if he could bowl yorkers in IPL, then why not in Lankan league.
“If I fail to bowl yorkers in the LPL, people will say you can bowl yorkers in the IPL and not in the LPL,” Malinga added further.
The world knows what I have done for my country: Malinga
The 37-year-old speedster admitted that he doesn’t have any problem with criticism as the world knows what he has achieved for his nation.
“No matter what you achieve, sometimes you have to take the criticism too. The world knows what I have done for my country. The people who love me know it too. That is enough for me,” claimed Malinga.
Malinga was one of the Galle Gladiators’ marquee players and was expected to lead the side. After his absence, Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman Sarfaraz Ahmed was given the responsibility to captain the team. But, Sarfaraz also opted out of LPL 2020 after being selected for Pakistan’s tour of New Zealand. Now, former Pakistan international Shahid Afridi will lead the unit.
Earlier, Malinga stated that he last played competitive cricket in March against West Indies and since then he had not participated in any training session.
“Since the West Indies series early this year, I haven’t had any cricket, and there hasn’t been any training for me at all. When the draft happened last month, I thought there would be about three weeks of training before the LPL, but there has been nothing. It’s not easy for a bowler to play at a high level without training. At the LPL they also have matches on back-to-back days. So I decided not to play the tournament,” Malinga told ESPNcricinfo.