Malinga says he's not done yet

FIGHTER: Veteran Sri Lanka pacer Lasith Malinga says there's still some gas left in his tank and wants to play next year's World T20 in Australia. AP/ PTI

In about two months’ time Lasith Malinga would turn 36, quite an advanced age for a paceman, but the Sri Lankan wants to push his limits further.

The veteran bowler, who will be playing his last World Cup (50 overs) match on Saturday against India here, now wants to extend his career and play in the T20 World Cup next year in Australia.     

“I just want to meet the Sri Lankan Cricket Board and ask them what they are expecting from me,” said Malinga when asked about his plans after the World Cup. “According to that, I will make my decision. We have to play 2020 T20 World Cup qualifying round. It is very crucial time for us to play in the T20 World Cup. I am looking forward to playing that T20 World Cup. I don't think I will make any decision on my ODI career without meeting the board,” said the former T20 captain who has taken 12 wickets in the tournament so far. 

Jasprit Bumrah has given a lot of credit to Malinga for helping him develop into a bowler that he is today with valuable inputs about fast bowling, but the Lankan remained modest.

“Anyone can find skillful bowlers,” he began. “Yes, anyone can bowl slower balls, yorkers and good length (deliveries). But after, that they have to be talented. Talented means to be accurate. How many times he can be consistent, is the second part? When they have these two things (talent and accuracy), then they can analyse their game. After that they will know this is what I can do and know how to handle the situation and analyse it.

“I am not surprised at all with his (rapid rise). I have been with him since 2013 (at Mumbai Indians). He is really very hungry to learn and he learnt it quickly. He understands really well. When you have these qualities, then anyone can become the best in the world,” he explained.

Malinga said the current Indian side has the potential to win the World Cup. “They have showed their character. MS (Dhoni) is also there, they have an experienced World Cup-winning captain and Virat (Kohli) also playing that tournament. They have that experience. They have match-winning bowlers also. Rohit (Sharma), we know how good he is playing. That match-winning ability players have. This competition is tough, but they have that ability to win. I can’t predict who is going to win but whoever is doing their best on the day, they can beat. I can’t say anyone because all the four teams (in the semifinals) are tough. They are at the peak now,” he offered.

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