Lasith Malinga, one of the greatest T20 bowlers in the history of men’s cricket, has retired from the last format in which he had not yet retired. Malinga’s playing career was all but finished after he was dropped from the Sri Lankan national team and withdrew from various franchise events, including the IPL.

“It’s a very special day for me today. I’d like to express my gratitude to everyone who has supported me throughout my T20 career. Today, I’ve decided to give my T20 bowling shoes a complete rest,” he said. “I’d like to express my gratitude to the Sri Lanka Cricket Board, Mumbai Indians, Melbourne Stars, Kent Cricket Club, Rangpur Riders, Guyana Warriors, Maratha Warriors, and Montreal Tigers for their support. Now I want to share my knowledge with young cricketers who desire to play for a franchise or for their country. While my shoes rest, my passion for the game never does. I’m looking forward to watching our kids make history.”

Malinga grabbed 107 T20 international wickets and had an economy rate of 7.42 across 83 bowling innings, and was known almost as much for his blonde-tipped curls as for his unorthodox round-arm movement. In the early days of the format, he was one of the most important innovators. Although his fast, swinging yorker was his main weapon throughout his T20 career, he also developed a well-hidden slower ball, a slower bouncer, and was one of the first and most successful bowlers to deploy wide yorkers at the end, a strategy that is now fairly regular.

He made his international debut in 2004 and quickly established himself as a regular in all of Sri Lanka’s teams. Injuries to his knees and ankles threatened to end his career, so he retired from Test cricket in 2010 to focus on limited-overs cricket. Malinga’s last international appearance was in March 2020.