Sri Lanka pace bowler Lasith Malinga has agreed to play for the Highveld Lions in South Africa’s Standard Bank Pro20 competition starting in February 2010, Alan Kourie, the chief executive of the Highveld Lions, announced today.
“We are delighted to confirm that franchise coach Dave Nosworthy has successfully reached an agreement with Lasith Malinga to play in our Pro20 for the coming season,” Kourie said. “We are thrilled to have someone of Lasith’s calibre joining us for what will be a very important season.”
Malinga, 26, one of the world’s leading T20 cricketers, has been given permission to play for the Highveld Lions by Sri Lanka Cricket. The pace bowler will travel to South Africa in time to participate in the Highveld Lions’ first match against the Cape Cobras on 5 February in Cape Town.
“I am really looking forward to playing for the Highveld Lions,” Malinga said. “I’m very grateful for the opportunity given to me and I hope that I can repay that faith by helping the Lions win the tournament. Playing cricket in South Africa is always a challenge and I’m hopeful the experience will make me a better cricketer.”
Dave Nosworthy was delighted by the Lions’ star signing: “We wanted a world-class strike bowler and Lasith ticks all the right boxes. He is an outstanding bowler and his performances for the Mumbai Indians and Sri Lanka over the past year show just how valuable he is in the Twenty20 format.”