Legendary Lasith Malinga, the former fast bowler and captain, has been appointed Sri Lanka’s bowling strategy coach for the upcoming white-ball fixtures of their home series against Australia next week.
Notably, Malinga had occupied a similar role when Sri Lanka toured Australia for a five-match T20I series in February earlier this year. Though Sri Lanka lost the series 4-1, the bowlers did manage to impress as the highest total that Australia could manage across five games was 164/6.
“Malinga, during the tour, will support Sri Lanka’s bowlers, providing tactical insight and technical expertise to help the on-field execution of strategic plans,” Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) said in a press release.
“Sri Lanka Cricket is confident that Malinga’s vast experience and renowned death-bowling expertise, especially in the T20 format, will help the team immensely going into this all-important series,” the release added.
Malinga also served as a bowling mentor for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the recently-concluded Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022. Under his leadership, the Royals’ bowlers put up a dominant show, as Yuzvendra Chahal bagged the purple cap after finishing IPL 2022 with 27 wickets in 17 games. Notably, the Sanju Samson-led Royals reached the final of the tournament for the first time since 2008 but lost to Gujarat Titans (GT) by seven wickets.
The three-match T20I series is set to begin on 7 June in Colombo. Recently, Sri Lanka had named an 18-member squad for the upcoming T20Is, which featured maiden call-ups for the young pair of Nuwanidu Fernando – the top-order batter – and Matheesha Pathirana – the right-arm pacer. Further, star leg-spinner Wanindu Hasaranga and wicketkeeper-batter Bhanuka Rajapaksa have also returned to the T20I squad.