Explained: What Lasith Malinga brings to Mumbai Indians — and what his loss means to the franchise this season

Lasith Malinga, veteran Sri Lanka pacer and lynchpin of the Mumbai Indians bowling since 2009, has opted out of the upcoming Indian Premier League season. He will be replaced by Australian speedster James Pattinson.

“Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength,” Akash Ambani, the franchise owner, was quoted as saying. “There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand his need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time,” he added.

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