Lasith Malinga: 16 facts about the Sri Lankan pace menace

Lasith Malinga, born August 28, 1983 is a Sri Lankan bowler who is dreaded for his toe-crushing yorkers. Apart from his prowess with the ball, Malinga is well-known for his weird action and fancy hairstyle.  On the auspicious occasion of his 33rd birthday, Suraj Choudhari throws light on 16 amazing facts about the Lankan speedster.


1.  Peculiar action

Malinga stunned the cricket fraternity with his sling-shot bowling action which helps him generate that extra pace and accuracy.


2.  Nickname

For Malinga’s uncanny action, he’s been nicknamed as ‘Slinga Malinga’.



3.  Superstitious bowler

Malinga is among those few cricketers who are superstitious on the field. On top of his run-up, Malinga kisses the ball.



4.  Handy lower-order bat

Malinga is very effective with the bat lower down the order. Although his batting figures won’t suggest so, but he’s well capable of hitting massive sixes.


5.  Test debut

Malinga’s magnificent run in the domestic season sculpted his path into the Test side Down Under against Australia in July 2004.



6.  Impactful entry into Tests

Malinga announced himself to the world as he claimed six wickets in his debut Test against Australia in 2004. He got the better of Darren Lehmann in both the innings and finish the game with a healthy figure of six for 92.



7.  Sexiest cricketer


Malinga’s crazy hairstyle, piercings and a lot of accessories along with the stylishly applied sunscreen makes him a stand out cricketer. In 2007 World Cup a Barbados magazine tagged him as the sexiest cricketer.




8.  Highest ninth wicket partnership in ODI

Along with Angelo Matthews, Malinga created history when the duo stitched a match-winning stand of 132 runs for the ninth wicket against Australia in the first One-Day International (ODI) in November 2010.



9.  Clocks 155.7 kmph

Malinga generates scorching pace. He consistently bowls between 140-150 kmph. In a 2011 World Cup game against New Zealand, Malinga bowled a delivery at 155.7.


10.  Knee injury

Malinga underwent a knee surgery in 2008 which hindered his bowling. With intent to focus entirely on shorter formats, Malinga retired from Test cricket in 2011.



11.  Purple cap for MI in IPL

Malinga has been a mainstay for the Mumbai Indians (MI) since inception. He picked up 28 wickets in 16 outings and claimed the purple cap for being the leading wicket taker in the tournament.



12.  T20 World Cup captain 2014

Sri Lanka were parched for an ICC tournament victory, they made it to the finals on number of occasions but failed to absorb the pressure in the ultimate game. Malinga broke the jinx as he led his team successfully in the 2014 World Twenty20 (T20) in Bangladesh and emerged victorious after defeating India in the final.



13.  Only bowler to have two hat-tricks in World Cup along with 4 in 4

Malinga has number of records to his name, for instance he is the only bowler to have claimed couple of hat-tricks in a prestigious tournament like World Cup. In 2007 World Cup in the Caribbean, Malinga ran through the South African line-up as he picked his first career hat-trick. To add to benefit, he claimed four South African scalps in four consecutive deliveries. Later, he decimated Kenya in 2011 World Cup at Colombo and claimed his second hat-trick to become the only bowler to have accomplished such feat.



14.  Only bowler with three hat-tricks in ODI

Malinga is the only bowler to have bagged three ODI hat-tricks. His hat-tricks came against South Africa in 2007, Kenya and Australia both in 2011.



15.  Shorter format specialist

His skilful bowling along with deadly toe-crushing yorkers makes him one of the most formidable T20 bowlers. He has represented a number of T20 teams across the globe — Mumbai Indians (MI), Ruhuna Royals, Melbourne Stars, Dhaka Gladiators and Southern Express.



16.  Tattooed

Malinga has a tattoo on his right-arm which displays the date of his Test debut and he also has inked his body with the date when he took four wickets in four deliveries against South Africa.



(Suraj Choudhari, an avid cricket follower who plays the sport at club level, is a staffer with Criclife)