Lasith Malinga is unarguably one of Sri Lanka's best pacers © Getty Images
Lasith Malinga is unarguably one of Sri Lanka’s best pacers © Getty Images

So, curtains are set to close on a champion’s career. Lasith Malinga has hinted at retirement before 2019 World Cup which is scheduled to be played in England. The Sri Lankan paceman has been out of the national side since September, having last featured in the one-off T20I against India at Colombo.

In another jolt to his career, Malinga, who has been one of the mainstays for Mumbai Indians (MI) and the highest wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League (IPL), went unsold in the IPL Auction 2018. In the 110 matches he played for MI in IPL, claiming 154 wickets. He was also Purple Cap holder in 2011 edition. He also played a crucial role in MI’s triumph in the final of the previous edition, bagging figures of 4-0-21-0.

Malinga, in a recent interview, expressed his desire to enter off-the-field roles like mentorship or coaching.

“If my services are not required any longer as a player, it’s time to move on. I know there’s still cricket left in me and if I cannot contribute as a player, I am ready to venture into mentoring leading up to the World Cup. If someone calls me today and says ‘Look, we would like to have you within our coaching team for the World Cup’, I am ready to accept it. Not because of anything but I want to share my knowledge with others when I can,”  Malinga told Sunday Times.

Malinga, 34, has struggled with fitness in the recent past. Having made his debut in 2004, Malinga has represented in 30 Tests, 204 ODIs and 68 T20Is for Sri Lanka. He starred with the ball in the 2007 and 2011 World Cups as Sri Lanka finished runners-up on consecutive editions. Malinga led Sri Lanka to their maiden World T20 win in 2014.