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Knee injury rules Malinga out of IPL

Knee injury rules Malinga out of IPL

NEW DELHI: 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.

Malinga, 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.

Malinga, the IPL’s highest all-time wicket-taker, has flown back to Sri Lanka from India where he had been with his Mumbai Indians team, but had not played in any of their three matches.

“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 (SLC) said Malinga would be assessed by a panel of doctors who would determine if he needed surgery.

SLC on Sunday warned Malinga against playing in the lucrative Twenty20 league without first getting clearance from the board.

Malinga is slated to undergo a fitness assessment on Wednesday in Colombo after which “the board will decide what course of action will be taken”.

The 32-year-old has a long history of injury problems and retired from Test cricket in 2010, saying he was unable to withstand the rigour of five-day matches.

Published in Dawn, April 19th, 2016

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