Ahead of the upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022, legendary Sri Lankan cricketer Lasith Malinga has joined the Rajasthan Royals (RR) coaching staff. The Royals confirmed the development on Friday, announcing that Malinga has been appointed as franchise’s fast bowling coach for the fifteenth season of the cash-rich league.
Notably, Malinga is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the IPL with 170 scalps to his name from 122 matches. He last represented Mumbai Indians (MI) in the 2019 season and retired from all franchise cricket in September 2021. The ace bowler recently accompanied Sri Lanka’s team to Australia as their Bowling Strategy Coach.
Malinga will join the Royals coaching group led by fellow Sri Lankan legend Kumar Sangakkara. Further, as per the release, the coaching unit will also have Paddy Upton as the ‘Team Catalyst,’ Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach), Zubin Bharucha (Strategy, Development and Performance Director) and Dishant Yagnik (Fielding Coach).
On his appointment, Malinga expressed his joy and said it is an honour for him to return to the IPL and join the 2008 title winners. The 38-year-old mentioned that he would do his best to support the bowlers with their game plans and overall development.
“It’s a wonderful feeling for me to return to the IPL and an absolute honour to join Rajasthan Royals, a franchise that has always promoted and developed young talent. I am excited by the pace bowling unit we have going into the tournament and looking forward to supporting all the fast bowlers with the execution of their game plans and their overall development. I’ve made some very special memories in the IPL with Mumbai Indians and now with Royals, looking forward to new experiences and creating great memories in this journey,” said Malinga in an official release.
Sangakkara, who will continue to serve as RR’s head coach and their Director of Cricket, welcomed the appointment of Malinga, stating that team will benefit from the inputs provided by one of the greatest T20 bowlers of all time.
“Lasith is arguably one of the greatest T20 fast bowlers of all time, and to have a personality like his around the training ground and the expertise he brings to the table, is certainly something we feel the team can benefit from. We have some of the best fast bowlers in our squad, and we are delighted that they will have the chance to work with Lasith and get to learn and develop further,” said Sangakkara.