Considered by many as one of the greatest fast bowlers to have ever represented his country, SeparamaduLasithMalinga from Galle, Srilanka started his international cricket career by playing against Australia in 2004 at the age of 21 only. Soon he earned a reputation for troubling the opponent’s batsman with his dangerous in-swingers and swift bouncers. In his early days, his bowling speed used to be between 140 to 150 kph.
Malinga was discovered and trained by ChampakaRamanayake, a former Sri Lankan cricketer, when he was studying in Vidyaloka College, Galle. Champaka helped him to join Mahinda college cricket team which proved to be a turning point in his career. He was also an admirer of Malinga’s natural bowling action besides Sir Viv Richards who in later years praised him for his unique round-arm bowling style, which earned him the nickname ‘SlingaMalinga’.
Though he had suffered many injuries for which he had to step down from captaincy in T20 world cup team, there is a considerable number of both test and ODI records which Malinga holds till date, such as being the only bowler with two world cup hat tricks and being the only one to take three hat tricks in ODI cricket history. Under his captaincy, Sri Lankan cricket team won the 2014 ICC World T20.
He was awarded both the Dialog SLC ODI and T20 Bowler of the year in 2015. In three test matches and seven ODI matches, he was credited for taking 5 wickets in innings. He has also been named by the ICC as the official event ambassador for the World T20 Championships.
Malinga was a diminished force through the 2015 World Cup and became significantly slower in his later years, in which he also put on weight. After missing out on most of the action after the 2015 World Cup, he made a comeback in 2018 and retained his place in the side. He was also named the Captain and has decided that he will bid adieu to the sport after 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.