Veteran Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga has decided to pull out of the inaugural edition of the Lanka Premier League. This is in addition to the other big names like Chris Gayle who have also decided to skip taking part in the league.
Gayle and Liam Plunkett were set to play for the Kandy Tuskers this season. However, the Kandy-based franchise tweeted that both of them will not feature in LPL 2020.
Lasith Malinga stated lack of practice as the major reason behind him pulling out of the league, having last played competitive cricket against West Indies earlier this year.
Malinga had also opted against playing in the recently concluded Indian Premier League (IPL), which further reduced his playing time.
“Since the West Indies series early this year, I haven’t had any cricket, and there hasn’t been any training for me at all,” Lasith Malinga told ESPNcricinfo.
It’s not easy for a bowler to play at a high level without training: Lasith Malinga
The inaugural edition of the LPL was set to take place in October when the draft happened, but was later postponed to November 26 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Malinga, who was one of the marquee players of the Galle Gladiators franchise, said that the three-week training period that teams were going to get before the tournament was crucial for him to get back into his rhythm.
But since there is not much time remaining to practice, the 37-year-old decided that he was not ready for the tournament and pulled out.
“When the draft happened last month, I thought there would be about three weeks of training before the LPL, but there has been nothing. They are only having us come to Hambantota this week, and even there they are asking us to do three days of quarantine," Lasith Malinga said.
“It’s not easy for a bowler to play at a high level without training. At the LPL they also have matches on back-to-back days. So I decided not to play the tournament,” he further added.
LPL 2020 will begin on November 26 and will be played among five teams - Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Dambulla and Jaffna, with the final set to take place on December 16.