Some Lesser Known Facts About Lasith Malinga
- Does Lasith Malinga smoke: Not Known
- Does Lasith Malinga drink alcohol: Not Known
- Born and brought up in modest circumstances, Malinga hails from a small village named Rathgama. Had it not been for former cricketer Chamapaka Ramanayake, who spotted Malinga bowling in a street, the world would have never witnessed a ‘record-machine’ like him.
- Malinga made his ‘dream’ first-class debut at the age of 17 for the Galle Cricket Club. In the match, Malinga garnered 8 wickets and his future looked promising.
- Until the age of 17, he didn’t play with the leather ball. Instead, he played with soft-ball on the beach.
- Although he made his debut in the year 2001, Malinga was first roped into bowl against the Sri Lankan squad in nets. However, he was soon stopped for fear of causing injuries. Aravinda de Silva had said in this regard, “Around about the time we were getting ready for the 2003 World Cup I heard there was this young pace bowler new in Colombo and how no one really wanted to bat against him, certainly none of the seniors. So I had to have a go.”
- There has been a lot of speculation around Malinga’s sling bowling action since the time he made his debut. To this date, you will find fans arguing about whether his action is legit or not. However, experts have confirmed that though Malinga’s action looks peculiar, his arms do not breach the “maximum flexing of the elbows” set at 15 degrees by the ICC.
- Malinga is among those cricketers who are always superstitious on the field. He kisses the ball each time he is about to bowl a delivery.
- Interestingly, in 2005, Stephen Fleming while facing Lasith Malinga in one of the matches asked the on-field umpires to take off their ties so that the batsmen could spot Malinga’s deliveries that come at “weird angles.”
- In his debut test match against Australia in 2004, Malinga stunned the entire cricket fraternity with his bowling skills. He claimed as many as 6 wickets in spite of tough Australian conditions in Darwin.
- As of November 2016, Malinga is the second highest wicket-taker in the T20 format with 299 wickets in 221 matches. He has taken five wickets four times in this format, which is the most in T20 cricket. Notably, Dwayne Bravo tops the list with 300+ wickets under his belt.
- Talking about 5-wicket hauls, one cannot forget the fact that Malinga has 7 ‘fifers’ to his name in 191 ODI’s. Only 4 bowlers have performed better than him in this regard, including compatriot Muttiah Muralitharan who has registered 10 five-wicket hauls in his career.
- Malinga’s leadership skills (as the captain) became evident when he lead his side to the 2014 T20 World Cup title, defeating India in the finals.
- Malinga was once named the sexiest man in cricket by a Barbados-based magazine named Easy.
- He loves sporting different tattoos that highlight his Lankan pride, his attitude towards life, and some important dates in his life.
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