Test cricket takes a back seat in Sri Lanka

The news that Lasith Malinga would be rested for the entire Test series against the West Indies has taken me by surprise. Malinga may not play any part in this upcoming Test series against the Windies because the selectors, senior players and the administration won’t risk playing him.

If vice captain Mahela Jayawardene is to be believed, Malinga is being protected for the World Cup.

Playing Test cricket is not as important as the ODI World Cup next year, I guess?

A shame, isn’t it? Gone are the days when cricketers quit limited overs cricket to prolong their Test career.

Malinga suffered a knee injury a couple of years ago, but has remained fit and has bowled hundreds, if not thousands of deliveries in the nets, during the IPL, at the Champion’s League and even for Sri Lanka in Tests and ODIs! He played his last Test for Sri Lanka in July this year! Why play him back in July then? Why play him at all?

“With the injury he has, it could easily come back. It’s a very rare injury as well on the knee and playing a lot of cricket is not going to be beneficial for him or for the team,” Mahela Jayawardene told The Nation.

“I don’t think we’ll risk playing him in Test cricket just before the World Cup. We have to manage him properly. He is gradually building up nicely strengthening and all that and getting into a good groove. Playing three Test matches against West Indies would definitely hamper him. The selectors and everyone think to give him a break in this series and probably play him in a few of the one-dayers against West Indies,” said Jayawardene who is vice-captain and elder statesman of the Sri Lanka Test team with 113 appearances for his country.

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