Mumbai Indians skipper Rohit Sharma on Thursday said Lasith Malinga's presence will be missed around the squad as the pacer announced his retirement from franchise cricket on Wednesday.
Mumbai Indians revealed that Malinga decided to retire from franchise cricket and that is why the side did not retain him for the IPL 2021.
Rohit posted a photo along with Malinga on Instagram and he captioned the post: "One of the best the game has seen. Truly a match-winner, his presence around the squad will be missed @mumbaiindians."
Following Sri Lanka pace spearhead Lasith Malinga's decision to retire from franchise cricket, his Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Mumbai Indians also came up with an emotional message for the bowler.
Mumbai Indians thanked Malinga for the memorable moments that the pacer gave the team, especially on the final ball of a championship match. The Mumbai based franchise paid tribute with a short video in which chants of MA-LIN-GA MA-LIN-GA could be heard, recreating the Wankhede experience.
"Malinga is staring down. He lifts his hand up and kisses the ball. Wankhede is echoing with MA-LIN-GA MA-LIN-GA as he picks up momentum in his run-up. He slings and bowls. The ball moves, dips, and finds the base of the stump through the batsman's defence," Mumbai Indians tweeted.
"You gave us 170 moments to celebrate. But the most memorable ones came on the final ball of the match. You smiled, you bowled, you won and for that, we say #ThankYouMalinga," it added.
Defending champions Mumbai Indians on Wednesday retained their core-group and released seven players including Malinga, Nathan Coulter-Nile, and James Pattinson for the 2021 edition of the IPL.
Record five-time IPL title holders now have 18 players in their squad with seven spots open which can be filled in the mini-auction. MI can pick as many as four overseas players for the next season.
The defending champions have backed their core players who helped them lift the IPL trophy in back-to-back seasons.
Retained players: Rohit Sharma, Quinton de Kock (WK), Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan (WK), Chris Lynn, Anmolpreet Singh, Saurabh Tiwary, Aditya Tare (WK), Kieron Pollard, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Anukul Roy, Jasprit Bumrah, Trent Boult, Rahul Chahar, Jayant Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Mohsin Khan.
Released players: Lasith Malinga, Mitch McClenaghan, James Pattinson, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Sherfane Rutherford, Prince Balwant Rai, Digvijay Deshmukh.
( With inputs from ANI )
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