Sri Lankan pacer Lasith Malinga, who retired from one-day international cricket on Friday, advised budding cricketers that to survive in the sport, they will have to be ‘match-winners’.
“My captains expect me to take wickets. 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 tell that’s a match-winning bowler. We have a couple of guys, they have the ability, we have to look after them,” ESPN Cricinfo quoted Malinga as saying.
Malinga played his last ODI against Bangladesh on Friday and ended his ODI career in style as he took a wicket on the final delivery he bowled and steered Sri Lanka to a 91-run victory. Malinga took three wickets in the match and gave away just 38 runs from his spell of 9.4 overs.
“I think whether I’m retiring or not, winning is very important. We are a young team and we are looking forward to win. These days we haven’t had the momentum to get wins,” the pacer said.
Although Sri Lanka has two more ODIs to play against Bangladesh in the series, the 35-year-old feels it is time for him to step aside.
“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 the crowd that’s been behind me. 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, okay, my time is up, I have to go,” he said.
Sri Lanka will play their second ODI against Bangladesh on July 28.