Malinga and his Menacing Yorkers

Lasith Malinga’s retirement from all forms of cricket will leave enthusiasts worried

The yorkers that breathed menace have been rested. Batsmen the world over will heave a sigh of relief that the thundering balls fired from Lasith Malinga’s fearsome arm would never hurtle down the pitch to give them worrisome moments at the crease. Malinga’s retirement from all forms of cricket is in a way sad, as his run-ups at the bowling end was indeed a treat to watch.

Like we all know, the Sri Lankan legend, who had excelled in all forms of cricket, has called it a day.  A 16-year international cricketing career has thus come to an end. A look at the numbers in his kitty would sum him up as a man who breathed fire and ended many run-making hopes in a jiffy.

The fearsome pacer who began his cricketing quest in 2004, bagged a total of 546 wickets – all forms of the game combined. His career comprised 30 Tests, 226 One Day Internationals (ODIs) and 84 Twenty20 (T20Is). And he picked up 101 wickets in Tests, 338 in ODIs and 107 in T20Is. A feat that calls for applause.

Malinga had, in 2011, called it quits from Tests. He followed it up by deciding to halt his ODI career, in 2019. But his T20 wicket-taking spree went on. Now that he has decided to put an end to the T20 presence he had enjoyed thoroughly, the cricketing enthusiasts from across countries would miss this 38-year-old who charmed the game in the best possible way he could.

A chequered career comes to a halt

As his career comes to a halt, Lasith Malinga goes back as the leading wicket-taker in the shortest format of international cricket and the first to complete a century of scalps in T20Is.

He had, as captain of the Sri Lankan T20 side, steered the team to victory in the 2014 World Cup. The fact that he is the only bowler to pick up four wickets in four balls in a row in international cricket, and that too on two occasions, speaks volumes about his talent. He is also the only bowler to take three ODI hat-tricks and two in T20I cricket.

Malinga’s yorkers were a treat to watch. The way he made batsmen duck for cover with his lethal deliveries will never be forgotten. Cricketing annals will have his on-field heroics etched onto its pages forever. For, this man from Sri Lanka travelled the world with a cricket ball that helped him conquer the world’s toughest 22-yard runways.

Announcing his retirement a day ago, Lasith Malinga had said: “Today is a very special day for me because I want to thank each and everyone who has supported me and blessed me throughout my T20 career. Today I decided, I want to give 100 per cent rest for my T20 bowling shoes”.

In a video he had posted on his social media handle, the cricketing legend thanked the Sri Lanka cricket board and his team members, Mumbai Indians cricket team and team members, especially the owners and the officials, Melbourne Stars, Kent Cricket Club, Rangpur Riders, Guyana Warriors, Maratha Arabians and Montreal Tigers.

Young cricketers have a lot to learn from Malinga

“When I played with you all, I got plenty of experience. I want to share my experience in the future, with young cricketers,” Malinga said in the video.

His bowling shoes have earned a well-deserved rest. With his bowing out of the stage, the cricket arena will miss the greatest T20 bowler ever, and an IPL legend. As his Mumbai Indians teammate and ace Indian cricketer tweeted, Malinga has been a champion. Budding cricketers would want to learn from. And for us enthusiasts, his on-field heroism would stay fresh through the innumerable videos we have on the web.

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