Lasith Malinga bowed out of ODI cricket after Sri Lanka’s ODI versus Bangladesh at the R Premadasa Stadium in Colombo. Even in his last game, he picked up three wickets and his retirement has left a massive void in the Lankan bowling attack. His searing toe-crushers and ability to fox the batsmen with his deceptive slower balls were assets for the Islanders and won them loads of games.
It would be hard for the Lankan team management to find someone of Malinga’s quality. Meanwhile, Lanka has one bowler in their ranks — Nuwan Thushara — who’s pretty similar to Malinga if not a proper carbon-copy. He has a slingy action like that of Malinga and in Colombo, they call him Podi (small/little) Malinga. Even his thick eyebrows and curly hair resemble Malinga.
Thushara is 24 years old and has played five first-class, 10 List A and 14 T20s in which he has gotten 35 wickets. As per Thushara, he never tried to copy Malinga and the action came naturally to him.
“I used to bowl with a softball when a friend, who used to play competitive cricket took me to Colombo. There, I first played for Sinhalese Sports Club before moving on to Colombo Cricket Club. People say I must have copied Malinga but this action was how it has been since the start, as a boy,” Thushara was quoted as saying in Indian Express.
Advises from Lasith Malinga himself
He was advised to play leather-ball cricket, but an adverse situation in the family hasn’t allowed him to go that far. “People always said I should try to play leather-ball cricket but somehow I didn’t know how to go about it. Back at home, things aren’t that good as my father works as a helper in building houses,” Thushara added.
Thushara also has had the privilege of meeting Malinga, who taught him the art of bowling yorkers. Even Malinga felt that the youngster has a long way to go in playing cricket. “I have been watching him for quite some time now. I’m teaching him now. He has a long way to go,” Malinga mentioned earlier to the same media house.
Here is the video of Thushara’s action
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