World T20-winning captain, Lasith Malinga, has done enough to impress the Sri Lankan cricket board, and he has subsequently been awarded the permanent role of coin-caller, reports Sky Sports.
The fast bowler took over on a temporary basis for the recent tournament in Bangladesh. Sri Lanka defeated India in what was their third visit to the final to claim their first international silverware since 1996.
Former captains, Mahela Jayawardene, Kumar Sangakkara and Dinesh Chandimal were all members of the victorious party – with the latter stepping down as skipper midway through the competition.
With such experience gathered around him, Malinga took on the role and led the side – renowned for falling just short – to a trophy.
No wickets were claimed by the captain in the final, but he took 2-5 in the semi-final with the West Indies to book the team’s contest with India.
He finished with figures of 0-27. Economical bowling was a key part to their success as India could only set a victory target of 131 for the tournament. That was chased down with more than two overs to spare as Sri Lanka became the fifth different winner of the World T20.
The 30-year-old with the slinging bowling action won’t travel as part of the team that tours Ireland next month, but will lead the side against England this summer.
Lahiru Thirimanne will serve as his vice-captain and the duo have been implemented in those positions for the next 12 months.
Malinga made his international debut in 2004 but has since fallen out of favour with – and retired from – the Test format. Nevertheless, he remains a fearsome fast bowler in One Day cricket.
He can be found performing consistently for Mumbai Indians in the IPL and consistent form in this year’s campaign will provide him with good preparation before he leads the Sri Lankans out at the Oval at the end of May.
But he permanently inherits a side recently deprived of both Jayawardene and Sangakkara. With those stalwarts finally leaving the format, a new era beckons.
The aggressive and in-your-face bowling style of the seamer could stand him in good stead for further success as an international cricket captain. With a team currently on top of the world, his task will be to sustain success, and see if he can provide the cricketing world with the first ever repeat winners of the world T20.
Malinga’s first game as full-time T20 skipper will come during the tour of England on May 20.
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