Lasith Malinga is a Sri Lankan cricketer, born on 28 August 1983 in Galle, Sri Lanka. One of the most prolific bowlers in the shorter formats of the game, Malinga is known for his deadly yorkers and unique sling arm action bowling which also gave him his nickname “Slinga Malinga”.
He is known to take multiple and consecutive wickets in a match and is feared for his accuracy and consistency.
Malinga’s youth was spent playing cricket on the beaches of Rathgama, just north of Galle. He completed his secondary education in Vidyaloka College where he also started his cricketing career.
Discovered by former Sri Lankan pace bowler Champaka Ramanayake, Malinga was selected for Galle Cricket Club. Champaka also helped him to get into the first XI of Mahinda College which proved to be a turning point in Malinga’s career of cricket.
Malinga made his Test debut against Australia in early July 2004. He took 2 wickets in 14 overs, giving away 50 runs in the first innings. More wickets came in the second innings as he toppled 4 for 42 in his 15 over spell.
Same month, Malinga made his ODI debut against UAE with just 1 wicket in 10 overs.
He made his T20 debut against England in June 2006, but couldn't manage to take any wickets in his 3 over spell there.
Rise to Glory
Initially, Malinga’s pace was devastating for the batsman, while his well-directed bouncers and pacey Yorkers were scary. However, pace was not his tool for long, as he started to lose pace later on and adapted his bowling style into slower off-cutter deliveries.
At Napier, during the 2006-07 tour of New Zealand, Malinga saved Sri Lanka by taking 9 wickets, leveling the test match for his team.
During a 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup match against South Africa, Malinga struck 4 wickets in 4 consecutive balls. Though South Africa went onto win the match, it was a great moment for Lasith.
Injuries have taken a toll on Malinga and he lost a number of matches because of being unfit in 2008. He was forced to take a long break to recover and come back fully. However, his absence in the squad was a big void to fill.
Malinga played for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and has had a glittering career in the 20 over format of the game. He holds the record for maximum number of wickets in the IPL as of now.
In 2011, he took 5 wickets giving just 13 runs against Delhi Daredevils at Feroz Shah Kotla. Malinga also played for Melbourne Stars and in 2012 he struck 6 wickets against Perth at WACA.
Lasith was also the leading wicket taker in the 2011 Champions League Twenty20 and won the golden wicket for his admirable performances.
Malinga is the only bowler to take 4 wickets in 4 consecutive balls. He is also the only player to take 3 hat-tricks in ODI cricket.
Malinga announced his retirement from Test cricket on 22 April 2011 due to his injuries and to maintain his performance levels at top levels in short forms of the game.
In February 2018, he was appointed as the bowling coach of Mumbai Indians in the IPL. After being out of the national team for a long time, he has also said that he was mentally done with cricket, giving hints about his retirement.