Malinga plays with full deck

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By 2018-01-03

By Dyan Pathiravithana

Hopefully, Lasith Malinga may be playing for the national side soon. He is the only recent Sri Lanka player to gain international recognition in cricket from the bowling department after Muttiah Muralidaran. They were both bowlers who gained their reputations with their bowling actions. And it is their bowling actions that gave them impetus to be in demand wherever they played.

Spin bowling seems easy to face and therefore the feeling to cope with it is not as fearful as to face a fast bowler who can bowl six balls at your toes at faster speeds or varying pace consistently. Both Malinga and Muralidaran were good at what they did. Once it was shown how Murali bowled to get at the coin perched on a wicket and he could hit it regularly. Murali went on to become the world record holder for most number of scalps be it Test or the shorter versions.

Murali became the victim of poorly behaved cricket crowds of Australia who were driven to get atMurali by Australian cricket scribes and even some Asian bowling greats exiled in Australia. They were all apprehensive of what great achievements he was capable of. They nearly destroyed this great bowler and fine human being, because of his capabilities. Capabilities can become most destructive in the minds of green eyed monsters.

Muralidaran gave the game up in 2010 around the age of 38 where he could have continued as a spinner. But, after all what was to achieve had been completed he thought it was time for a youngster to get his chance.

That had not been the dream Malinga had been in pursuit of: being a speedster there was more wear and tear in the body of the 34-year-old that made him limit the amount of cricket he was to be involved in. And he could have by cutting down some weight he had been gaining lately. That may have prompted him to aggravate his injuries to some extent while also having unnecessary and ugly experiences he has been having on the field when fielding.

Malinga is intelligent and knows what he is up to. Some may not be willing to tow his line of thought. He has been thoroughly outspoken with his thoughts mindfully. The colouring of his mane was his symbol to announce he was his master. This would have hurt many seniors that thought it not to be very Sri Lankan to be with blond gollywog looks but with that he achieved much more on the cricket field than did those seniors. Maybe Malinga read Enid Blyton's Noddy, who is a fuzzy haired doll, as a youngster.

Malinga is now perplexed as to why he is being rested. He chose the correct method, attending a practice session as a net bowler to make the announcement. Being there as a net bowler he made certain all noticed his concern for Sri Lankan cricket. He probably wanted the new coach Hathurusingha to have a good look at his bowling and decide how he could be used in 2018. According to Malinga that is how he started: being a net bowler.

He goes on in the same fervor to announce he is ready if picked. It is then that he goes to say a younger player can do the waiting game but getting the older player to rest while his playing days are numbered is incomprehensible. The background music is right and the stage is set with the actors, it all depends on which script the director will choose for the episode to be completed. That will give us, the audience, the date Malinga is likely to be doing his Swan Song.

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