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
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,
Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)