Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
Sri Lanka captain Lasith Malinga has hinted that he may retire from Twenty20 Internationals after the World Twenty20 in India next month.
Malinga took four wickets in his comeback match to help Sri Lanka get their Asia Cup campaign off on a high with a 14-run win over the United Arab Emirates.
However, after the match, Malinga revealed that he has still not fully recovered from the knee injury that kept him sidelined since November last year.
When asked if a retirement announcement would come after the World Twenty20, Malinga said: “There might be. I am playing [for] 12 years in the national team, I am 32 years old.
“I think if now I have an injury, it is hard to get rest. If I take rest for a year or more, that’s the end of my career. If I need to play for my country, I have to play tough cricket in the last few months or years. I don’t think I can fully recover from this injury but I try to manage this in future.
“I don’t know how many months or years I will play. [At the] end of my career, I try to play maximum number of games for my national team or in the IPL. I want to play as long as possible, and at my best.”
Malinga admitted that the road to recovery from his knee injury has not been an easy one as the injury was similar to the one that kept him out of action for nearly a year in 2008.
“I am not happy [with my performance],” Malinga said. “I haven’t bowled a single ball in the last three months. I just bowled in the nets in the last two days. I am happy with the result but I think I have to do more for the team. I will try my best in the next game. [This performance] is not my 100 percent, maybe 60-70 percent, but still I managed to bowl yorkers and slower balls. The team expects more than that from me.
“I had a very bad injury in the knee. Same thing happened in 2008. I needed two years rest to recover. I had same injury in the other leg. This is not the right time to rest since we have the World T20. I am the experienced bowler in the T20 format. I have to use painkillers and injections, whatever I have to do [to play]. This is the end of my career so I want to do something for the team. I want to give my best in the last few years or maybe few months.”