IPL 2020: Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga To Miss Tournament; James Pattinson Named Replacement
In 122 IPL matches, Lasith Malinga has returned 170 wickets. (AFP)

Defending champions Mumbai Indians on Wednesday (September 2) announced the signing of Australian speedster James Pattinson as a replacement for Lasith Malinga for the upcoming IPL.

The veteran Sri Lankan pacer is unavailable for the season due to personal reasons.

“Lasith Malinga has requested unavailability for the season for personal reasons and to be with family back home in Sri Lanka,” a media release issued by Mumbai Indians said.

Pattinson will join MI, currently based in Abu Dhabi, this weekend.

Malinga has been a key bowler for MI and has played a crucial role in the team’s campaign over the years.

Owner Akash Ambani welcomed Pattinson on board and extended his support to Malinga.

“James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season in UAE.”

Malinga last featured for Sri Lanka in a T20 International during the home series against West Indies in March this year, with his last ODI appearance coming more than a year ago.

“Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith’s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time.”

“Mumbai Indians is founded on the values of one family and for us the members of our squad and their well-being will always hold utmost importance,” added Ambani.

The IPL will be held in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.