IPL 2020: Lasith Malinga ruled out, James Pattinson replaces him
Lasith Malinga has been ruled out of the impending Indian Premier League season. He will be unavailable due to personal reasons. Reportedly, Malinga has opted out as he wants to be with his family back home in Sri Lanka. Meanwhile, Mumbai Indians have signed Australian speedster James Pattinson as his replacement. He will join the MI camp in Abu Dhabi this week.
We understand Malinga's need to be with his family: MI
"Lasith is a legend and pillar of MI's strength. There's 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," MI said in a statement.
Mumbai Indians informed about the development on Twitter
Malinga had earlier ruled himself out of the first half
Earlier, Malinga ruled himself out of the first half only due to personal reasons. It has been reported that Malinga's father is ill and may undergo surgery in the upcoming weeks. Hence, the 37-year-old expressed his desire to be by his father's side at the time of the surgery. It was also reported that he will continue his training in Colombo.
Mumbai Indians will miss the services of Malinga
Lasith Malinga has been the linchpin of Mumbai Indians' bowling line-up for years. He is presently the leading wicket-taker in the Indian Premier League, having claimed 170 scalps so far. Malinga joined Mumbai in 2009 and has been retained by the franchise ever since. Although MI hired him as a mentor in 2018, he yet again played the following season.
James Pattinson set to replace Malinga
Australian pace spearhead James Pattinson has been announced as Malinga's replacement for the upcoming season. The 30-year-old has plenty of experience in the T20 format, having accounted for 47 wickets at an impressive average of 24.12. In the Big Bash League, Pattinson owns 32 wickets at 23.46 with a best match haul of 5/33. His attributes will be valuable for MI this season.
Will Malinga's absence hurt Mumbai Indians?
In Malinga's absence, the baton of fast bowling lies with Indian pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah. Also, New Zealand's Trent Boult could be handy. He has already proved his mettle in the previous few IPL seasons. Notably, Boult was traded to MI by Delhi Capitals, this term. Meanwhile, Australian pacer Nathan Coulter-Nile may also be a useful option alongside Pattinson.