Sri Lanka Cricket legend Lasith Malinga, who recently announced his retirement from all forms of the game, opened up on the bond he shares with his Indian Premier League franchise Mumbai Indians. Malinga recalled how he was relatively new to the international cricketing stage when IPL started and it was his time at MI that helped him in his cricketing journey.
The highest IPL wicket-taker still remembers how he was unlucky to miss out on the first IPL season but met his teammates for the first time in 2009 in South Africa. He recalled his first IPL wicket and the experience of playing alongside the greats like Sachin Tendulkar, Zaheer Khan and Shaun Pollock.
I lost the Sri Lankan annual contract in 2008: Malinga
"In 2008, I was really unlucky. First I got a knee injury, then I missed the IPL and I lost the Sri Lankan annual contract," he said as quoted in MI's official release.
"In 2009, after one and half years, all the doctors and physios said that if I wanted to play, I would have to start short format games to continue my cricketing journey. It meant that I would have to play T20s. But I didn’t get any chance to play in the national team and I had only one option: to go to South Africa and play in the IPL," he added.
Further, he reminisced his time with the experienced cricketers in the MI dugout.
"I could see many experienced players are there in world cricket because I had only three-and-a-half years of international experience. Sachin, Zaheer Khan, Shaun Pollock and Sanath Jayasuriya, that experience was huge," he added.
My first wicket in IPL was Parthiv Patel, recalls Malinga
He then recalled how he dismissed Parthiv Patel as his first IPL wicket.
"My first wicket in the IPL, in the very second ball, was Parthiv Patel, caught by Sachin. Then I got MS (Dhoni) and another wicket after that," he recalled his spell of 3/15 on his IPL debut against CSK.
While Malinga will not be part of the MI camp in any capacity this season, he sent his best wishes to the team and the franchise to win the championship for the record sixth time and complete a hat-trick of titles.