Highest wicket taker in IPL cricket (154 wickets), Lasith Malinga was neither retained and nor bought by any franchise at the 2018 IPL auctions including his own franchise Mumbai Indians where he has played his entire IPL career.
Interestingly, soon after the auctions Mumbai named Lasith Malinga as their bowling mentor which meant cricket fans can yet again get to see, the Bumrah - Malinga combo a bit differently though and mostly from the sidelines.
In a recent interview with Hindustan Times, Malinga opened up on many aspects of the game and also about his career, making a special mention of Jasprit Bumrah with whim he has closely worked with in IPL cricket.
Naming him as a special talent, Malinga said thatBumrah should be consistently playing for India to help his team maximize his ability with the ball.
"He has experience, he knows (how to handle) pressure, so many people at the Wankhede Stadium are cheering (for him). He has played with so many good players; he bowls in those challenging periods. He has learned a lot, and that is why he has achieved what he has. Now he is in the Test team, I am really happy that he got a five-wicket haul in South Africa. This means he has now arrived in world cricket. I want him to play, maybe, another 10 years, without any injuries. I want him to play consistently for India" Malinga said off Bumrah.
He next kept his view on the current state of the Sri Lankan cricket team and on their skipper Angelo Mathews who has been constantly battling with injuries. " I think after 2015, all the experienced players finished their careers, such as (Tillakaratne) Dilshan, (Kumar) Sangakkara, Mahela (Jayawardene), even Murali (Muttiah Muralitharan). We have to get another (bunch of) players who can handle international cricket. We have good cricketers in (Dinesh) Chandimal, Angelo (Mathews), Kusal (Mendis), (Akila) Dhananjaya, I think they need time. No one can become a world-class player in one night".
He said that he expects Sri Lanka to bounce back in the 2019 World Cup with their senior players like Mathews, Chandimal and Thisara Perera taking up the mantle.
He also praised his fellow teammate Rangana Herath who has recently became the highest left-arm bowler in Test cricketer overtaking Wasim Akram's tally of 415 Test wickets.
"Whatever he has done, everything is there in the books. Someone might be popular, someone else might not be. But whatever they are doing in international cricket, everything is there in the books. Whoever knows and understands cricket, they know. Rangana is the highest left-arm wicket-taker, he has got 400 wickets, and has done a good job for Sri Lanka, (especially) after Murali. We won so many Tests because of him. He is a legend for us, after Murali" Malinga said of Herath.
He next praised the rise of leg spinners in world cricket citing the example of Chahal and Kuldeep. "They are always the wicket-taking option. Be it one-dayers or T20Is, we need that option. In any bowling line-up (there should be) two wicket-taking options, be it two fast bowlers or wrist spinners. If any team can find that option, it’s really good. We know guys like (Yuzvendra) Chahal, Kuldeep (Yadav) or the Afghan guy (Rashid Khan) are doing really good job. Sri Lanka too have wrist spinners, maybe someone like Jeffrey Vandersay. This period is going to be spinners’, they are really good options for any team."
He concluded his interaction highlighting the importance of the Sri Lanka Premier League, Sri Lanka's new T20 cricket league.
When asked about if the league can give a platform to new spinners Malings said "Definitely. We had SLPL (Sri Lanka Premier League) only once, but we know (any) country that has (their) premier league, before they (players) come to international cricket they know how to handle pressure situations. They are mentally prepared. They can learn a lot from these leagues".