‘No Clear Response’ – Sri Lanka Selector Reveals Lasith Malinga Yet to Confirm if Wants to Play in T20 World Cup
It has been over a year since Lasith Malinga played a competitive match and with the new selection policies kicking in, it is highly unlikely that the veteran pacer will make the cut in Sri Lanka squad for this year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup set to be played in India. Even though neither party has said so in clear words, the indications are all but clear that Malinga will not feature at the marquee event.
Pramodya Wickramasinghe, who heads the three-member National Selection Committee, reckons Malinga is Sri Lanka’s best T20 player but when the time comes, he will also be judged on the basis of their new guidelines.
A strict fitness test is part of the new guidelines that requires a player to run 2 kms in 8 minutes and 30 seconds. Wickramasinghe says he spoke with Malinga and informed him about the new selection policies.
“We know he is the best T20 player and his services are always very important. But all players are equal for us and we apply the same guidelines in selections,” Wickramasinghe told Sri Lanka’s Daily News.
“I spoke with Lasith Malinga and asked him if he is hoping to play in the T20 World Cup this year. He told me that he hasn’t played competitive cricket in about one and a half years,” he added.
To be eligible for national selection, a player must pass the new fitness tests and additionally should have been playing domestic cricket.
“I also told him that one should also be playing domestic cricket to be eligible for national selection. If Malinga can fulfill all these requirements, we will consider him for selection at that time,” Wickramasinghe said.
The selectors are also focused on younger players with an eye on the 2023 ODI World Cup. Wickramasinghe said Malinga though hasn’t given a clarity either whether he hopes to be a part of Sri Lanka’s T20 World Cup team.
“Malinga appreciated our selection policies and asked me to continue with them. However, Malinga did not give a clear response whether he intends playing in the T20 World Cup or not,” he said.