Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga’s international career looks in jeopardy after Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) selectors issued an ultimatum to the 34-year old pacer to return home and play domestic cricket or forget being recalled for the national side.
Not retained by Mumbai Indians during IPL 2018 auctions, Malinga was up for selection in Sri Lanka’s domestic Inter-Provincial one-day tournament, which is set to begin on May 2. However, the pacer stated that he would not be returning to the island until the end of the IPL 2018.
After going unsold at the IPL 2018 auction, Malinga, who hasn’t played for Sri Lanka since last September, opted for a stint as a mentor for MI.
SLC President Thilanga Sumathipala was quoted by cricbuzz as saying, “The selectors wanted him back, and he has to play domestic cricket according to them. We’re playing our white-ball tournament, and 50-over and T20. I’m sure before the next international engagement which is South Africa and then the Asia Cup and so forth, he needs to play T20 games and 50 overs. If Lasith is not playing a domestic tournament, the selectors will have to make a call.”
SLC CEO Ashley de Silva said, “We have informed Lasith that he has been selected. If he doesn’t play the Inter-Provincial tournament, it is unlikely that the selectors will consider him.”
Malinga posted a video saying he was ready for international action against South Africa in July but refused to play domestic cricket for Sri Lanka. South Africa will play five ODIs and a T20 International during their Sri Lanka tour that kicks off with the two-match Test series.