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There have been growing concerns about Malinga and Mendis’ fitness
Sri Lanka pace bowler Lasith Malinga and spinner Ajantha Mendis have both been recalled from the ongoing Big Bash League (BBL) tournament due to concerns over their fitness.
The pair will undergo a training programme in Sri Lanka in order to get prepared for the Asia Cup and World Twenty20.
“We felt it is important for all national squad players to undergo a strict training regime in the next few weeks, as Sri Lanka has a heavy schedule ahead,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) secretary Nishantha Ranatunga told the Daily Mirror. “The decision to call back Lasith and Ajantha was taken in consultation with our coaches and national selectors.”
Sri Lanka chief selector Sanath Jayasuriya admitted that he was growing increasingly worried about Malinga, who has put on a lot of weight over the past couple of months.
“You have to admit that Malinga has a serious fitness issue,” Jayasuriya said. “But if he shows serious intentions and is willing work hard and improve himself and if he is ready to show commitment towards national duty, then we feel it is unfair to leave him out. He is obviously a world-class bowler. So, we want him to prove himself by coming back from the Big Bash and working with our coaches and trainers and get back to his full fitness in the next few days.”
However, Malinga has been cooperating with SLC over his training programme, which has impressed the national selectors.
“He knows that we are keen to help him out and have the patience to manage him and assist him cope with his injury in order to prolong his international career,” Jayasuriya said. “It is a very encouraging sign and we hope everything will turn out well for the country.”