Barely a week after Suresh Raina pulled out of IPL, Lasith Malinga too has followed suit. James Pattinson will join Mumbai Indians as Malinga's replacement. This will be fast-bowler James' first IPL match. Just like Suresh Raina, Malinga has also cited 'personal reasons' for opting out. With just a fortnight left for the IPL 2020 to begin in UAE, Malinga's decision might cost heavy for the Mumbai Indians.
As per reports, Malinga's father has been under the weather and requires surgery. This was precisely the reason why Lasith didn't join the MI team while they were leaving for Abu Dhabi. The fast-bowler was supposed to join the team before the beginning of the match however, owing to his father's health, he decided to skip the IPL, this year.
"Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI's strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith's cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith's need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time," said an official statement from Akash Ambani.
Malinga has been the second-highest wicket-taker in the T20 format. While James Pattinson is also known for his expertise in fast bowling, Malinga's experience and presence would definitely be missed in the upcoming IPL.
Suresh Raina's exit
Suresh Raina had decided to exit from the IPL citing personal reasons, last week. Chennai Super Kings' owner N Srinivasan had then told Outlook, "Cricketers are like prima donnas ... like the temperamental actors of the olden days. Chennai Super Kings have always been like a family and all seniors players have learnt to co-exist. My thinking is that if you are reluctant or not happy, go back. I don't force anyone to do anything ... sometimes success gets into your head. I spoke to MS (Dhoni) and he has assured me that even if the numbers go up, there was nothing to worry. He spoke to the players through a zoom call and asked them to remain safe. You really don't know who is a passive carrier. The season has not begun yet and Raina will certainly realise what he is missing and certainly all the money (a salary of 11 crores per season) he is going to lose."