Sri Lanka vows to give Malinga fitting farewell against Bangladesh

DHAKA, As Lasith Malinga would walk into the sunset after the first ODI against Bangladesh, Sri Lanka vowed to give him a perfect farewell by winning the match on Friday at the R Premadasa Stadium.

The best thing we can give him [Malinga] is win the match and that's what we are planning, Sri Lankan captain Dimuth Karunarate said on Thursday in the prematch conference.

Other than that we have discussed few things in the dressing room. But

mainly we want to focus on winning the match. That's the best thing we can do

for him. He is a legend, he has done really good job and plus he did it for

more than 15 years.

He has been our main bowler for the last few years. And I think we will

miss him and I don't think anyone can replace him. We could have asked him to

stay for couple of more years. But he wanted to give chance to the youngsters

to grooming them for the World Cup so we have accepted it. And we will try to

give him the best farewell on this first one day.

At the age of 35, Malinga is still going strong. He was the highest

wickettaker for Sri Lanka in the World Cup, claiming 13 wickets from seven

matches. Malinga is also the thirdhighest ODI taker of Sri Lanka with 335

wickets.

It is believed he will continue T20 cricket after ODI retirement.

Karunaratne said it is tough to replace Malinga but they need to think

life after him immediately. When I gave him the ball he always picked up the

wickets. He is a wicket taking bowler. He took a lot of wickets in the World

Cup too. After he retires I think we need to find a bowler who can find

wickets in the middle parts, he said.

The Sri Lankan captain also emphasized on executing the plan well against

Bangladesh to win the game.

Bangladesh has really played good cricket in the last few years. Shakib

and Mashrafe have really done well in the World Cup. But I think the players

who have replaced them, have got the talent as well, they have done really

well for the Bangladesh team. They are a very good team. Against them, we

have to play at our best and there is no chance to take them lightly. We have

to play at our capacity and I hope it will be a good match tomorrow,

Karunarate said.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)