Malinga cynosure of all eyes

Published : 9:26 am  February 15, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (310) reads | 

Lasith Malinga the best Twenty20 bowler in the world will make his return to international cricket as he is set to face the Prime Minister’s XI at the Manuka Oval in Canberra, Australia today (15). 

This will be Sri Lanka’s only warm-up match before Friday’s T20 series opener against Australia in Melbourne.The 33-year-old withdrew from last year’s T20 World Cup and the IPL with knee soreness.

He was set to make a comeback in the recent limited-overs series against South Africa until a bout of dengue fever put the brakes on his return.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister’s XI Captain Adam Voges confirmed he would not play any more international cricket and that the match would be his swansong against international opposition.

Voges was in the Perth Scorchers side devastated by Malinga’s record of 6-7 in 2012 while he was playing for the Melbourne Stars in the BBL.

With the Prime Minister’s XI a mixture of youth and experience, Voges, 37, will be urging the side’s young players to be patient against Malinga’s slinging action even in the shortest form of the game.

Opening batsman Upul Tharanga will Captain Sri Lanka on the tour that moves to Geelong on Sunday before concluding in Adelaide on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, fast bowler James Pattinson was yesterday ruled out of the Prime Minister’s XI in a Twenty20 game against Sri Lanka with a foot infection, Cricket Australia said yesterday. 

The 26-year-old, who has endured a difficult few years with injuries, had been hoping to get more matches under his belt to be in contention for Australia’s Test side for the Ashes late this year. 

“Pattinson flew with the team to Canberra, however a left foot infection will prevent him from being fit to bowl,” Cricket Australia said in a statement. 

“He will be replaced in the squad by emerging New South Wales bowler Harry Conway.” 

Conway, 24, was 12th man for the NSW Blues in their most recent Sheffield Shield match. 

The Prime Minister’s XI will be coached by former Test Captain Michael Clarke.