Malinga to join Mumbai Indians squad on March 25 as BCCI slams SLC over unavailability

Written by Vishwas Gupta

Mumbai Indians’ fans were left disappointed as Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga was ruled out of the first six matches of the 12th edition of Indian Premier League (IPL) in order to prepare for the upcoming World Cup. Reportedly, Sri Lankan selectors told Malinga to play in the upcoming Super Provincial One Day domestic tournament to stake a claim of playing in ICC World Cup 2019. The tournament is scheduled to be played from April 4 to 11.

However, Cricket Age learns that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) has slammed the Sri Lankan board for a U-turn after declaring the ‘Slinger’ available for entire season ahead of IPL 2019 auctions. After BCCI’s strong communication to SLC, Malinga in all likelihood will join Mumbai Indians camp on March 25 in Bengaluru.

As per sources, BCCI told SLC that it was unfair on their behalf to pull out a crucial player at the last hour. The two boards are said to be communicating with each other and Malinga is now supposed to join the Mumbai Indians squad and leave only for the duration of Sri Lanka’s domestic league.

This means, Malinga will miss Mumbai’s opening match against Delhi Capitals on March 24 (which he was supposed to miss anyway) but will go on to play three matches against Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) scheduled to be played on March 28, March 30 and April 3 respectively. He will then play in the Super Provincial One Day domestic tournament during which Mumbai will play only two matches against Sunrisers Hyderabad and Kings XI Punjab. In total, Malinga will miss three matches and not six, as reported earlier.

Malinga, who went unsold at IPL 2018 auctions, was roped in as a bowling mentor ahead of the IPL 2018. Known for his toe-crushers, he remains to be the highest wicket-taker in the history of IPL with 154 scalps to his name.

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Vishwas Gupta