Lasith Malinga says that after the conclusion of the ICC World Cup he would like to play at least one more match in Sri Lanka before he quits one-day international (ODI) cricket once and for all.
“With regard to retiring from ODI cricket, I am hoping to go back to Sri Lanka after this World Cup and play a match in Sri Lanka. I would like to play a match like that and retire.”
“But I will go and think about it and ask Sri Lanka Cricket what more is expected from me,” the Sri Lankan pacer told Ada Derana.
He said that he would be willing to help out and pass his knowledge to the young bowlers and new players of the team for another one or one-and-a-half years more while playing.
“But if they say I am no longer required, I will happily retire from cricket.”
Regarding his future in T20I cricket, the current Sri Lanka T20 captain said given the experience he has gained in that format of the game it would be an injustice to cricket by him if he would leave at this moment.
Therefore he said that he intends to guide the team past the qualification rounds for the next T20 World Cup and after that he doesn’t care if he is dropped from the squad or not. He said he is not that interested in playing at the World Cup, but wants to make sure that Sri Lanka qualifies.
Asked about plans after retirement, he said that he has no intention of ever participating in the administration of cricket because that is a topic he does not know about and that all he knows is “what to do in the middle of the pitch.”
He also said that he prefers to train and impart knowledge more than coach any team. Malinga added that given what has happened in the past couple of years he does not think the SLC will request his services, but admitted he would be willing to forget it all and help out when asked for it.
that for the past 10 years or so he has been accused by various cricket officials and the local media of not playing for the country.
In a response to those critics, he said that since his retirement from Test cricket in 2010 he has never refused to play a one-day international for his country and played abroad instead.
He said that sometimes the people ride the ‘wave’ and criticize him and that they only remember him playing in the Indian Premier League (IPL) and accuse him of ‘playing only for money’.
Speaking exclusively to Ada Derana in Durham, Malinga further said that he is not a person who has ever failed when it comes to his physical health as proven by his continuous presence in the national team, provincial tournaments and the IPL.
He said that certain people who don’t want to see him here have been trying to get rid of him since 2008 by making various allegations and that until today he has succeeded in staying right at the top through his strength.
Sri Lanka’s leading wicket taker in this year’s ICC World Cup, the pace bowler said that he has responded to all his critics by displaying his skills on the cricket pitch.
Malinga said he has never played cricket “for the coach or the captain” and that he always plays to win the game he is given. The veteran also said he does not have any “immature thoughts” such as criticizing the captain when he fails to get a wicket or to say he played for the coach when he scores a hundred.
Responding to a question, he said that there was absolutely no reason for him to be left out of the national team for a period of one-and-a-half years because he was the highest wicket taker even then.
He said that even till today the people know why the selection committee decided to drop Sri Lanka’s leading wicket taker and due to whose influence it was taken. But the damage they caused has left the Sri Lanka team currently sitting in the 9th spot of the ICC rankings, he said.
He said that any person who watches cricket can understand what happened with regard to the development of cricket in the country within the past 2-3 years.
He urged authorities not to appoint selection committee members with no knowledge and who work according to the needs of others, ever again.
He said it is also the responsibility of the media and the cricketers to ensure that such individuals are not even brought close to those positions hereafter.