Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga revealed Mumbai Indians owners had spoken to him "about their vision going forward" while discussing their decision to not retain him for Indian Premier League (IPL) 2018 season.
Malinga had been an integral part of the three-time champions ever since the second edition of the cash-rich league in 2009. The right-arm pacer bamboozled batsmen with his slingy action and finished his IPL career as the highest wicket-taker with 154 scalps from 110 matches.
The 34-year-old was part of the recently-concluded IPL auction in Bengaluru. He had set his base price at Rs 1 crore but he remained unsold at the end of the two-day event.
However, he was appointed as the bowling mentor of MI earlier this week and he will work alongside head coach Mahela Jayawardene and bowling coach Shane Bond.
"I was not surprised at (Mumbai's) decision not to have retained me. I had 10 very good years with Mumbai Indians and I achieved a lot. But this year, the owners spoke to me and told me about their vision going forward," Malinga told the Press Trust of India on the sidelines of St Moritz Ice Cricket tournament in Switzerland on Thursday, February 8.
He added: "They wanted to create a good team for the next three years. I also understand that my time in competitive cricket is over now. I am 34 years old and not getting any younger. I feel this is the right time to make a career move.
"Mumbai Indians had the mentorship role in mind and I am happy to start a new innings. My job as a mentor will now give me an opportunity to guide the next crop of fast bowlers.
"I will pass on my knowledge to them and also it will be an opportunity to assess myself in the coaching arena."
'Will announce retirement soon'
Malinga also opened up about his international future, saying he has "mentally" prepared to call it quits from competitive cricket.
The right-arm pacer, who represented Sri Lanka in 30 Tests, 2014 ODIs, and 68 T20Is, was dropped from his national team for Pakistan ODIs last year and hasn't played international cricket since September 2017.
"Mentally, I am over with playing cricket. I don't think I will play international cricket anymore. I am planning to announce my retirement soon," Malinga said.
"I have not spoken to Sri Lanka Cricket but once I go back, I will have to again go through the domestic grind, see how my body responds. Everyone gets that signal. Even the great Wasim Akram knew when his time was up," he added.