Legendary Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga on Tuesday announced his retirement from all formats of the game after an illustrious career that spanned over more than a decade. A pace veteran and one of the finest T20 bowlers, the 38-year-old led Sri Lanka to a title victory in the 2014 T20 World Cup.
Malinga, who took a total of 546 wickets across all formats for Sri Lanka, had already retired from Test cricket in 2011 and then from ODIs in 2019. However, he continued to play T20Is for the national side.
The cricket fraternity on Tuesday paid rich tributes to yorker king Lasith Malinga after he bid adieu to all forms of cricket, describing him as a legend whose contribution to the sport will survive the test of time.
Wishing him a successful career, the game’s governing body ICC wrote: “Happy retirement, Yorker King.”
A master of one of the game's most difficult skills.
Happy retirement Lasith Malinga, one of the yorker's greatest exponents 💥https://t.co/Ty39k6YtUO
— ICC (@ICC) September 15, 2021
Jasprit Bumrah, who formed a formidable pair with Malinga for the IPL team Mumbai Indians, also congratulated him. “Congratulations on an illustrious career, Mali and all the very best for everything the future holds. It was a pleasure playing alongside you,” Bumrah wrote.
Congratulations on an illustrious career, Mali and all the very best for everything the future holds. It was a pleasure playing alongside you. https://t.co/8dkjndMgQ2
— Jasprit Bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) September 14, 2021
“Mali, you have been a champion cricketer. Well done on your wonderful career. Best wishes ahead @ninety9sl” wrote MI skipper Rohit Sharma.
— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) September 14, 2021
During his 12-year stint at Mumbai Indians, he was part of MI’s four of the five IPL title triumphs but had opted out of the 2020 tournament due to personal reasons at a time when his father was not keeping well.
Mumbai Indians thanked him for all the good memories: “Popular sounds from Mumbai: Local train passing by, BEST bus horn, Kali-pili taxi meter, and Wankhede buzzing with MA-LIN-GAAA. Thank you Mali for all the memories!” it wrote.
Popular sounds from Mumbai:
🔹Local train passing by
🔹BEST bus horn
🔹Kali-pili taxi meter
𝗔𝗻𝗱 𝗪𝗮𝗻𝗸𝗵𝗲𝗱𝗲 𝗯𝘂𝘇𝘇𝗶𝗻𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝘁𝗵 𝗠𝗔 – 𝗟𝗜𝗡 – 𝗚𝗔𝗔𝗔𝗔
Thank you Mali for all the memories! 💙 https://t.co/is0hyXpF2q
— Mumbai Indians (@mipaltan) September 14, 2021
Former Sri Lankan skippers and his teammates Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayawardene too praised him for his outstanding career.
“Congrats on an awesome career. Your contribution to Sri Lanka and world cricket will stand for all time. Been such a pleasure playing with you. All the very best in what you decide to do from now. So much knowledge to give. Legend!!!,” Sangakkara tweeted.
Congrats on an awesome career. Your contribution to Sri Lanka and world cricket will stand for all time. Been such a pleasure playing with you. All the very best in what you decide to do from now. So much knowledge to give. Legend !!! https://t.co/iuvu3pI9ip
— Kumar Sangakkara (@KumarSanga2) September 14, 2021
Jayawardena remembered the first instance when he had faced him at the nets. “Time I first faced you in the Galle nets as an 18-year-old net bowler to the Curly coloured hair icon you have left us with amazing memories!! Fantastic teammate.. wishing you all the very best my friend and thank you!!,” he wrote.
Time I first faced you in the Galle nets as a 18 year old net bowler to the Curly coloured hair icon you have left us with amazing memories!! Fantastic team mate.. wishing you all the very best my friend and thank you!! https://t.co/IV7HiZLh0i
— Mahela Jayawardena (@MahelaJay) September 14, 2021
Here are some more reactions on Malinga’s retirement:
A legend bids adieu to the sport. Congratulations on a fabulous career, Lasith Malinga! 🧡 https://t.co/fTRj9KlV6x
— SunRisers Hyderabad (@SunRisers) September 14, 2021
Yorkers, Smiles and lots of Timber on a Slinging journey 💛
— Chennai Super Kings – Mask P😷du Whistle P🥳du! (@ChennaiIPL) September 14, 2021
Congratulations on a fantastic career and wishing you all the very best in your retirement, Lasith Malinga 👏
— Kent Cricket (@KentCricket) September 14, 2021
PS. The batters can finally breathe a sigh of relief! pic.twitter.com/uA72ENjBxb
— Star Sports (@StarSportsIndia) September 14, 2021
An inspiration to anyone taking up cricket professionally from tennis ball,his unorthodox style redefined #t20 bowling. Many loved his death bowling,but my favourite was the inswinging yorker with the new ball.Happy retirement #lasithmalinga!#Legend #Yorkers #Retirement
— Abhinav mukund (@mukundabhinav) September 14, 2021
From the unique bowling action to those yorkers, Lasith Malinga was easily one of the toughest bowlers I ever played against. Fond memories with him in the MI dressing room as well.
Wish you well for the 2nd innings mate. @ninety9sl pic.twitter.com/d8F2QZMvFO
— DK (@DineshKarthik) September 14, 2021
Malinga, who has played a staggering 122 IPL matches, has 170 wickets to his credit, the highest in the cash-rich league, with the best bowling figures of 5/13. He picked up 107 wickets in 84 T20 Internationals, 338 scalps in 226 ODIs and 101 wickets in 30 Tests.
He was the first bowler to bag 100 T20I wickets and finishes fourth in the highest wicket-taker category in the list behind Dwayne Bravo, Imran Tahir and Sunil Narine.
(With PTI Inputs)