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Mathews: Malinga ready to shine in Champions Trophy

Lasith Malinga - cropped
Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga
Modified 25 May 2017, 21:57 IST

Sri Lanka captain Angelo Mathews says Lasith Malinga is primed and ready for the ICC Champions Trophy in England and Wales, despite a lack of 50-over action in the build-up to the event.

Malinga missed his country's recent matches against Scotland due to his involvement in the Indian Premier League.

The experienced fast bowler helped Mumbai Indians to victory in the Twenty20 tournament and Mathews expects Malinga to be high on confidence as a result.

"He's fully fit in terms of fitness," said Mathews in a news conference on Thursday.

"We look forward to utilising him in the matches ... he's very key. And he got here a few days back, very keen to get on the park.

"He hasn't played 50-over games in the recent past, but he's played a lot of games in the IPL where it's very intense. And he's been doing a lot of training as well.

"So he's confident. We are confident. And we all know that he's a match-winner. He's proven himself over the past so many years and he can win us a game single-handedly. So we're looking forward to it. Very much excited."

Mathews is happy for Sri Lanka to fly under the radar at the Champions Trophy, which begins on June 1 and features the eight leading teams in the ODI rankings.

"All the teams are quite even and I think, especially in the past few months, we've had a few lapses here and there. Nobody will give us a chance, to be really honest," Mathews reasoned.


"We're happy to enter the tournament as underdogs, as anyone may call us. But, you know, we are confident. We prepared extremely well.

"We just want to take one game at a time, try and do our very best in that game and try and win it and look forward to the next."

Published 25 May 2017, 21:57 IST
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