Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga has been ruled out of the ongoing Indian Premier League (IPL) because of a lingering knee injury that kept him out of this year’s World Twenty20.
The 32-year-old paceman, one of the deadliest bowlers in limited overs cricket, hurt his knee against West Indies late last year.
Since then, the recovery has been slow, forcing Malinga to hand over the 20-over captaincy to Angelo Mathews on the eve of the World Twenty20 and then miss the entire tournament as Sri Lanka’s title defence crumbled in India.
“MI’s star pacer, Lasith Malinga has been ruled out of IPL 2016 due to a knee injury,” his IPL team Mumbai Indians said on their Twitter handle.
“Malinga was expected to miss the first few matches of MI’s IPL ’16 campaign but the recovery period is longer than previously expected,” said the team coached by former Australia captain Ricky Ponting.
The slow recovery now casts doubt over Malinga, easily recognisable with his blond-highlighted hair, being available for Sri Lanka’s tour of England beginning next month and his participation in the Caribbean Premier League in June-August.
Sri Lanka Cricket said Malinga would be assessed by a panel of doctors who would determine if he needed surgery.