Mumbai-Indians-bowler-Lasith-Malinga-5WTF. That could be the first thing comes to the mind of any rational person. You simply cannot be blamed for doing something, when you are actually not doing it – Common sense. But Malinga -IPL story is little bit complicated than that. Let’s break it down

 

 

 

Hatred towards T20 in general

There are set of cricket fans who sees the T20 format as the devil who came to destroy good old fashioned cricket. They would take every chance they could get to attack T20 cricket. They are part of this just because they don’t like the format, nothing else

Watching T20 Internationals but hate franchise cricket

Even though franchise tournaments are common in other sports, it’s still new for cricket. Certain section of cricket fans doesn’t like the idea of playing for a franchise, they want cricket to be attached with patriotism so that each cheer goes for the country in addition to the sport. The allegation against Malinga  “Choosing franchise cricket over country” is the ideal case for this group, so their presence here is obvious

None of above

I don’t expect people from above two groups to be rational about Malinga . But there are significant number of Sri Lankan cricket fans who loves T20 and do watch franchise cricket (at least OK with them), still are against Malinga when it comes to his IPL career. For them I like to make few points so they could rethink on their stance

 

  • Malinga plays well in IPL , Yes so does in International cricket

Malinga skipped entire IPL season due an injury still he is the leading wicket taker in IPL . Apart from being fit to bowl 4 overs in his full capacity there are other factors contributing to his success in IPL . Every IPL team contains some Indian players who doesn’t have international exposure, these guys are usually vulnerable against Malinga   where they ending up against Malinga’s fantastic death bowling. Mumbai Indian could be the second best team in IPL based on performance history but there are not among the strongest batting sides of the game. Instead they relied on their bowling attack compared to other teams creating much more demanding situations for bowlers. Also they always had a good bowling attack where both time they won, they had two International pacers leading the attack. When batsmen get pressured in both ends they tend to loose wickets , which I believe a factor in Malinga’s success in IPL

Malinga isn’t the highest T20 international wicket taker but his performance in T20 internationals and ODIs  also great . He don’t have the luxury of facing sub-standard batsmen in international cricket yet his performance always commended by critics for both taking wickets and amazing death bowling in T20s . Malinga saved the day the for the team many times but I like to remind a single match. The final of 2014 T20 world cup . It was the Malinga’s attack at the end barred India reaching a decent total despite having two best batsmen at the crease and wickets in hand. Malinga was the key in winning that final,, so is it fair to say that he is performing only for IPL  ?

 

  • Malinga is the only one playing IPL , Yes because others are not hired

Sri Lankan’s had significant participation in IPL back in the day .There was a season where 3 Sri Lankans appointed as captains of IPL teams.  Sana played some memorable innings in his short IPL career but none of other players delivered in IPL including great Sanga and Mayya . IPL is a business where they hire players with good performance, since Sri Lankans failed to perform they were not hired in the auction. Malinga was a consistent performer hence MI management decided to retain him every time. He could be only international bowler retained by a single team since the beginning. As of this moment Malinga retained by MI , while Thisara is hired  in the auction , But NO other Sri Lankan is  hired , so it’s obvious for Malinga  being the only  Sri Lankan player in IPL

  • Money over anything ? Aren’t we the same ?  

Ugly truth of the modern life style is Money becoming the key factor in everything. We can argue on that all day but it’s just the reality. So as with any other person Malinga too interested in Moneyso does every cricketer and nothing wrong with that, only difference is Malinga is the only guy who talks about it openly. Assume that you are doing a government job and you get a great job offer from  another country which will pay you lot more than what you are earning here ? Would you take the job ? If you do , you need to understand that what Malinga doing is same , actually he is still serving for the country while earning extra from IPL .

Malinga also has special attachment to MI team than money . They gave him the contract when SLC failed to do so during his first knee injury , where his IPL performance earned him the place back in SL team . So Money may not be the ONLY thing Malinga cares about, he also being grateful to MI and IPL

 

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