Letter : Malinga must not be a politico and move on | Sunday Observer

Letter : Malinga must not be a politico and move on

It is time that Lasith Malinga bows out honourably from T20 Internationals like he did from ODI matches and was given a good farewell last year.

By remaining in the T20 team Malinga is only preventing Sri Lanka from planning ahead of the world T20 tournament in October this year. There is no doubt that Malinga like many other bowlers before him, for example Chaminda Vaas, had played their part and moved on.

We cannot understand why Malinga is continuing to cling on to the Sri Lanka team at a time his best days are over and why even the selectors are not giving him the message to move on. He has also been very contradictory as on one occasion he says he will be leaving the team and on another occasion he goes to India or somewhere else and says he wants to play until such and such a time.

In the last series against India Malinga did not take any wickets and this alone shows that when it comes to top class opposition he does not stand much of a chance. No wonder then that he was not selected by any team to play in the inaugural 100-ball tournament in England in August this year.

Malinga was on the verge of retiring when he took four wickets in four balls against New Zealand last year and may be it could have extended his career. But if he was playing for any other team the selectors there would not have not fallen for that feat as two of the New Zealand batsmen he dismissed were new and faced him for the first time.

The Indian batsmen are different as will be players in the Australian, West Indies and England teams when it comes to the T20 game.

To win matches and Cups there must be consistency. Whether Sri Lanka will be able to find consistent players is another issue altogether. But there is nothing like trying to find consistent players and as long as Malinga stands in the way with the clock ticking for him, this endeavour will not be a reality.

Also it was foolish to have Malinga as captain as he does not have the makings of past captains like Arjuna Ranatunga and Mahela Jayawardena who were very crafty in their leadership.

Malinga is also very slow on the field meaning age is taking a toll on his fitness and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Even at a young age Malinga was not a top shelf fielder. But T20 cricket does not give players undue breathing space while fitness and youth are the key factors in this format of the game.

Right now we are at a stage where the country needs new blood, new thinking and new faces in all areas to take the country forward. Sportsmen must not be like some politicians who want to cling on to office as if they cannot do anything else in retirement thereby depriving the nation of a future in this demanding day and age.

C Jude