Will Malinga follow Dhoni? | Sunday Observer

Will Malinga follow Dhoni?

6 September, 2020

India’s super hero and captain marvel Mahendra Singh Dhoni has quit playing T20 cricket and closed his glorious chapter in all forms of the game. We hope our own cricket sensation -the slinger that Lasith Malinga will take his time before bowing out himself. Some though ask the question when?

This is the question that all cricketers and cricket fans in the country are asking and seeking answers. There is a strong feeling, now that Malinga has decided to skip the lucrative Indian Premier League to be conducted in the United Arab Emirates. Is that a signal of things to come?

Malinga who has served Sri Lanka cricket very faithfully from the time former paceman Champaka Ramanayake spotted him playing softball cricket in the South, has brought Sri Lanka cricket to the spotlight. To him the hope was that playing if not captaining the country in the T20 World Cup would be a fitting way to bow out.

The T20 World Cup was penciled for action in Australia next month, but unfortunately for him and Dhoni, the Covid-19 struck and Australia who were to host the tournament were forced to postpone it. When it will next be called ‘play’ is of course anybody’s guess.

With both Dhoni and Malinga in the twilight of their careers and with T20 cricket requiring a high level of fitness and quick movement on the field and extremely quick reflexes, the more the T20 World Cup is postponed they would not be fit as they would like to be.

And in addition Malinga who would have been a great attraction in the IPL has made it known that he has been forced to skip this money bag tournament due to personal reasons. Now that is sad on the never say die champion pace ace.

The most disappointed on hearing that Malinga is unavailable for the IPL will surely be the Mumbai India team, its captain Rohit Sharma and the Ambani Brothers the sponsors of the Mumbai Indians.

In the previous tournament with the result hanging on a thread with the game to be decided in the last over, Sharma the captain tossed the ball to Malinga who is renowned for being a master death over bowler.

He ran in and delivered his famous stinging Yorker that had the last man plumb in front that won his team the trophy for the second time and what jubilation it was to see West Indian Kieron Pollard carrying Malinga on his shoulders and the whole team doing the jig round the ground.

In the absence of Malinga, the IPL will look like some of the lights on the pylons refusing to light and with the wildly cheering Indian fans missing with the tournament to be played behind closed doors the tournament will be sans its usual excitement.

Chairman of the National Sports Council and coach of Mumbai Indians Mahela Jayawardena who is determined to help his team win the IPL for a third time left for the UAE to serve the quarantine period before the tournament begins.

With everything set in motion to conduct the delayed Indian Premier League tournament in an Arab country comes the disappointing news that several members of Dhoni’s team Chennai Super Kings have been tested positive for the coronavirus.

Not only the players but a management official and his lady and two members of the social media have also tested positive.

The lucrative T20 IPL Tournament which was down to be played in March in India was shifted to the Arab country because the virus was spreading rapidly in India and there was no way that the tournament could be played there.

Dhoni’s team arrived in the UAE on August 21 and underwent the mandatory six-day quarantine as per IPL guidelines. After some members tested positive the team will have to go through another week of quarantine thus delaying their preparations for the tournament.

The team can begin training after passing the tests and according to the rules they will not be allowed contact with anyone who hasn’t undergone the quarantine period. The IPL is set for play on September 19 with the final scheduled for November 19.

Tharanga Paranavithane that stylish left hand opening batsman has decided to quit the big time game after a successful run with the bat.

He had the correct technique, temperament and the strokes that good opening batsmen posses and was nice to watch when he got going. He would have done better and scored a lot more runs had he been given more opportunities.

The 38 year old played 32 Test matches for the country making 1,792 runs which included two centuries and 11 half tons. In addition to his batting he was a wonderful team man always endeavoring to contribute for the success of the team.

Team members who played with him for the country speak highly of him and wish him well in his retirement and hope that he would not be lost altogether to the game, but contribute in some capacity.

He has hinted on taking to umpiring. That will be a good move and who knows he might end up as one of the elite members of the ICC.

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