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POSTED AT 07:08 AM 19-04-2019

We will be disappointed if Malinga retires – SLC president

Chief selector Ashantha de Mel explains a point at the media conference held at SLC headquarters yesterday. Newly appointed ODI captain Dimuth Karunaratne and SLC president Shammi Silva are also present.

Sri Lanka Cricket president Shammi Silva said that he will be disappointed if ace fast bowler Lasith Malinga retires from cricket ahead of the World Cup.

Malinga who was the ODI and T20I captain for the series in South Africa lost all eight matches and was replaced by Dimuth Karunaratne for the World Cup in England.

Speculation has been rife that Malinga intends announcing his retirement if he was not made captain of the team for the World Cup.

“Malinga is a world class player and one of the best bowlers we have. We have selected him because we need him. The speculations are there anybody can take any decision but we have to go and play in the World Cup,” said Silva.

“We gave Malinga 14 matches to show his skill as captain and he lost 13 of those matches with one no- result. We have tested him. Sometimes world class players can’t be good captains and a good captain cannot be a world class player. As a nation we have to win. Country comes first not the individual. I think Malinga will consider this, if he retires we cannot do anything but we have a replacement as well,” he said.

Speaking further Silva said, “Without any objection we allowed him to play in the IPL because he is getting good competition and he is getting good match practice. I think he will take it as a challenge and perform well for not making him the captain. If he retires we will be disappointed because he has a lot of cricket in him.”

Silva said that they have not received any letter from Malinga to say that he was retiring. “We have considerable trust in him that he will play in the World Cup and not leave the team. He is not a person to take harsh decisions.”

Chairman of selectors Ashantha de Mel said, “With Lasith I have no problems with his captaincy. Although he leads from the front the rest of the players are behind they are not going together with him that is where the whole problem lies. We want to play as one team. Lasith cannot gel the team together. We are confident that Dimuth can get the team together because the players are as one with him.”