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To go long in cricket you have to be a match-winner: Lasith Malinga

Notably, Malinga is the only bowler to have taken three ODI hat-tricks — against South Africa in 2007 World Cup, against Kenya in 2011 World Cup and against Australia in 2011.

SNS | New Delhi |

“You have to be a match-winner” is the golden rule to survive in cricket said veteran Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga after playing his final ODI for his team in front of his home crowd, Colombo.

On Friday, Malinga brought an end to his illustrious ODI career with a wicket off the last ball he bowled in the first ODI of the three-match series against Bangladesh. Sri Lanka won the match by 91 runs. Meanwhile, the bowling spearhead didn’t fail to impress and ended with 3 for 38 in 9.4 overs, passing Anil Kumble’s tally of wickets in the 50-over format.

Malinga finished with 338 wickets in 226 matches, finishing as the 9th highest wicket-taker in ODIs. He is Sri Lanka’s third highest wicket-taker in the format after Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399).

After the match, he insisted it was the right time for him to retire as Sri Lanka begin rebuilding for the next World Cup. The fast bowler, who will turn 36 next month, urged the younger generation to step up.

“My captains expect me to take wickets,” Malinga said at the post-match presentation. “I tried my best all through my career. I hope all the young bowlers do this as well. Because just surviving in cricket, I don’t think anyone can go far. You have to be a match-winner.

“That’s what I’m looking forward to in the future. These young bowlers have to get match-winning performances and people have to say, ‘That’s a match-winning bowler!’ We have a couple of guys, they have the ability and we have to look after them.”

Notably, Malinga is the only bowler to have taken three ODI hat-tricks — against South Africa in 2007 World Cup, against Kenya in 2011 World Cup and against Australia in 2011.

“I’ve played the last 15 years for Sri Lanka. Really an honour to play, and really happy to play for these people and for all crowd that’s been behind me,” said Malinga, adding, “I feel this is the time I have to move on because we have to build for the 2023 World Cup and that’s why I realised, ‘OK, my time is up, I have to go’.”
(With inputs from IANS)