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‘I have no ambitions to return to Test cricket in the future’ – Malinga

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By Staff Writers | August 23, 2011

Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga rules out Test cricket return. © AFP/File/Ishara S.KODIKARA.

Lasith Malinga has yet again ruled out a return to Test cricket after announcing his retirement from the format earlier this year.

"Some people thought that I took this decision for financial gains but it was not so," Malinga told reporters in Colombo yesterday.

"I love the game so much that I want to play as long as I can. I know my knee won’t allow me a long career if I continued to play Test cricket.

"I have no ambitions to return to Test cricket in the future. My future is in the one-day game and Twenty20 cricket. That way I can serve my country better and longer."

The 27-year-old has been criticised by fans and the local media for choosing the more lucrative limited-overs format, including the Indian Premier League (IPL), over the five-day game.

The fast bowler missed 15 months of international cricket as a result of a knee injury in 2008. And that injury, according to former Sri Lankan physiotherapist Tommy Simsek, has resulted in a degenerative knee condition.

"Malinga had previously told [Stuart Law] he wanted to resume his Test career against Australia in August but, when told he must also make himself available for the impending tour of England, he opted instead to stay in the IPL and play only limited-overs cricket for Sri Lanka in future," the Sydney Morning Herald reported in April after an interview with the former Sri Lankan coach Law.

Upon hearing that Malinga was unavailable for selection for the Test tour of England earlier this year but available to play for Mumbai Indians in the IPL, chairman of selectors Duleep Mendis ordered him to return to Sri Lanka from the IPL for a rehabilitation programme. Shortly after, Malinga announced his retirement from Test cricket.

Malinga made two attempts return to Test cricket since his comeback from injury. On both occasions, he suffered from inflammation in his knees which led to more time off from cricket.

"He is an excellent bowler," Australian captain Michael Clarke said at the end of the recently concluded ODI series.

"He has got an excellent yorker and an equally good slower ball; I am glad that he is not playing us in the Test series."

Malinga finished the ODI series against Australia taking his third international hat-trick – the first bowler to do so. With 11 wickets at an average of 11.45, he was also the best bowler in the series.

© Island Cricket

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