The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is all set to commence on September 19 in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). All the teams are expected to reach the country by August 22 and get qurantined for seven days while also get tested for COVID-19 thrice before entering the bio-bubble. However, Sri Lanka veteran Lasith Malinga seems unlikely to travel to the UAE to play in the IPL.
This will be a huge blow for the defending champions Mumbai Indians (MI). Malinga was the one who delivered that magic delivery to Shardul Thakur and helped the team win the coveted trophy for the fourth time last year.
Malinga himself has not yet confirmed the news but the reports in NewsWire suggest that the pace bowler won’t be participating in the IPL this year due to family reasons. His father is till and may require surgery and the cricketer wants to be by his side during the tough time. In that case, Isuru Udana will be the only player from Sri Lanka to play the tournament this season. He has been picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in the auction.
Mahela Jayawardene left for UAE on Thursday
Meanwhile, the Mumbai Indians (MI) head coach, Mahela Jayawardene has left for the UAE to join the squad well ahead of the IPL. This is his fourth consecutive season at the helm with the franchise having won the title twice in three attempts. However, even he will be keen to see Lasith Malinga in the team for the upcoming season. Unfortunately, it seems that the veteran pacer won’t be gracing his presence in the league.
Muttiah Muralitharan is another Sri Lankan who will take up an off the field. He is the mentor of the Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) and is scheduled to leave for the UAE on September 4 along with the team’s fitness trainer Mario Vellawarayan. As far as the IPL is concerned, the tournament will go on until November 10 this year with the final taking place on a weekday for the first time.
Mumbai Indians will be keen to become the second team ever to defend the title. But they will be hurt by Malinga’s absence this season as he is one of the best T20 bowlers ever.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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