Lasith Malinga to face New Zealand in World Cup opener

Lasith Malinga

Lasith Malinga is not 100 per cent fit but says he will play in the Cricket World Cup opener against New Zealand today.

The Sri Lankan quick bowler has been battling back from an injury to his left ankle and has been out of the game for five months.

Today he told that the lure of the World Cup meant he would put up with the discomfort and play in every game he was required to, including the tournament opener against the Black Caps in Christchurch.

Malinga has bowled in the nets and though unsure of where his pace is at, he’s happy with where he finds himself.

“I’m feeling good, the rhythm is good and so is the run-up.”

The 31-year-old hopes to use Sri Lanka’s two warm-up matches, against South Africa at Christchurch’s Hagley Oval tomorrow and on Wednesday against Zimbabwe in Lincoln, as best he can to gain the match practice he’s missed.

Malinga was restricted to light duties and spectating over the seven-match ODI series which his side lost to New Zealand 4-2 , however, the veteran felt his experience would quickly make up for a lack of time in the middle.

“My feeling is that I still have the mental preparation. Not the skill preparation, but I have been thinking about my game and I’m feeling good.”

Malinga has played 177 ODIs since making his debut in 2004. (