Veteran Sri Lankan star Lasith Malinga said Thursday he was “very happy” to make way for younger players as he calls time on his illustrious 15-year career in the 50-over format.
Malinga will play his final one-day international in Colombo Friday in the first of three ODIs against Bangladesh, but hopes to continue playing in the shorter T20 format.
“I am very happy to leave at this time. This is an opportunity for new players to prove themselves and prepare for the next World Cup,” Malinga, 35, told reporters Thursday at the team’s final training session.
“We may have had some setbacks, but we have the capability to win another World Cup,” he added, pointing to Sri Lanka’s success at the 1996 World Cup and 2014 T20 World Cup.
“The young players need to believe that they can deliver. They need to be dedicated and develop to a level that they can decide for themselves when they go to the middle,” Malinga said.
Malinga has his sights on next year’s T20 World Cup in Australia, and Sri Lanka’s cricket board confirmed he would be available for selection for the T20 squad.
Only Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) have taken more wickets than Malinga in ODIs for Sri Lanka.