IPL 2022: Rajasthan Royals appoint Lasith Malinga as fast bowling coach ahead of new season

Lasith Malinga

Rajasthan Royals on Friday announced the appointment of Sri Lanka legend Lasith Malinga as the franchise’s Fast Bowling Coach ahead of the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2022.

Malinga, 38, is the all-time leading wicket-taker in the IPL with 170 scalps in 122 matches. The Mumbai Indians legend last played in the league in the 2019 season and subsequently pulled out of the next edition.

Malinga joined the Rajasthan Royals coaching team led by fellow Sri Lankan legend and his former captain Kumar Sangakkara. According to a release, the coaching team will also have Trevor Penney as the ‘Team Catalyst,’ Trevor Penney (Assistant Coach), Zubin Bharucha (Strategy, Development and Performance Director) and Dishant Yagnik (Fielding Coach).

“Lasith is arguably one of the greatest T20 fast bowlers of all time, and to have a personality like his around the training ground, and the expertise he brings to the table, is certainly something we feel the team can benefit from. We have some of the best fast bowlers in our squad and we are delighted that they will have the chance to work with Lasith and get to learn and develop further,” Sangakkara, RR’s Director of Cricket, said.

In a celebrated career that spanned over 17 years, Malinga played 340 matches across formats and picked up 546 wickets. He led Sri Lanka to the ICC T20 World Cup 2014 title. Most recently in February 2022, he served as Sri Lanka’s Bowling Strategy Coach for their T20I series against Australia.

“It’s a wonderful feeling for me to return to the IPL and an absolute honour to join Rajasthan Royals, a franchise that has always promoted and developed young talent. I am excited by the pace bowling unit we have going into the tournament and looking forward to supporting all the fast bowlers with the execution of their game plans and their overall development,” Malinga said.

In the IPL, he only ever represented one team – Mumbai Indians.

“I’ve made some very special memories in the IPL with Mumbai Indians and now with Royals, looking forward to new experiences and creating great memories in this journey,” Malinga added.

Malinga had previously served as the Mumbai Indians bowling mentor before he returned in IPL 2019 as a player. The legendary pacer is reputed for his unconventional approach to bowling and his strategic thinking.

Malinga also served as the Sri Lanka men’s team’s bowling strategy coach for their five-match T20I tour of Australia. He was appointed by the Executive Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket in consultation with the Technical Advisory Committee of Sri Lanka Cricket.

Malinga, in his short-term role as a specialist coach, supported Sri Lanka’s bowlers, providing tactical insight and technical expertise to help the on-field execution of strategic plans. The appointment was effective from February 1-20.

(Source: India Today)