|Separamadu Lasith Malinga|
|Born||Aug 28, 1983|
|Age||36 years 61 days|
|Bat Style||Right Handed|
|Bowl Style||Right-arm fast|
After the retirement of Jeff Thomson, the cricketing world hasn’t seen a better slinging bowler than Lasith Malinga. The Galle-born speedster is one of the very few world-class pacers that Sri Lanka has produced over the years.
Malinga grew up playing on the sandy beaches of Galle with a soft ball where he developed his unique round-arm action to deliver his now famous toe-crushing yorkers that has led to his nickname, 'Slinga'. He later made his debut for Galle in 2001-02 and developed a fearsome reputation in domestic cricket for hurling deliveries consistently at the toes of batsmen which makes it difficult to pick because of his unusual point of delivery, in front of the umpire's frame. A well-thought out move by the Sri Lankan selectors to include Malinga in the 2004 Australia tour paid off as he single-handedly rattled the Australian batsman picking 10 wickets in the two Tests. Later in Napier, he ripped through New Zealand's batting order bagging nine wickets in the game. He made his ODI debut against UAE in 2004 and was one of Sri Lanka's standout bowlers in the 2007 World Cup where he picked up a phenomenal 4 wickets off 4 balls against South Africa in a game.
A wonderful exponent of the yorker, Malinga's awkward action helps him generate disconcerting bounce and he also has a very well-disguised slower delivery up his arsenal. However, injuries have often kept him out of the playing eleven. Malinga retired pre-maturely from Tests in 2011, owing to a persistent knee injury but insisted on continuing in the shorter formats of the game.
Malinga has been an asset to his Indian T20 League franchise Mumbai, who owe a large chunk of their success to the Lankan pacer. His best performance for Mumbai came in the 2011 edition, when he finished as the tournament's leading wicket-taker with 28 wickets, thus grabbing the coveted 'Purple Cap'. Malinga is also a part of the Big Bash League In Australia with Melbourne Stars where he bowled a blistering spell, picking up 6 wickets, conceding 7 runs in 4 overs against Perth Scorchers and created his own personal T20 record for his best figures as well as the best figures in T20s on Australian soil.
Though retired now from Tests, 'Slinga' continues to be the strike bowler for Sri Lanka in the limited-overs format. His biggest success came in 2014 when he led Sri Lanka to their first World T20 triumph defeating India in the finals, a fitting send-off to Mahela Jayawardene and Kumar Sangakkara who played their final T20I.
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