Lasith Malinga: Sri Lanka pace bowler set to return after year-long injury

Lasith Malinga and Sri Lanka coach Graham Ford
Coach Graham Ford (right) has been without the services of Malinga for a year

Pace bowler Lasith Malinga is set to make his comeback from a year out of international cricket after being named in Sri Lanka's Twenty20 squad to tour Australia later this month.

The tourists will play three T20 internationals from 17-22 February.

Malinga, 33, has not played a competitive game since February 2016 when a knee injury ruled him out of the following month's World Twenty20.

He returned to training in September but suffered further setbacks.

A bout of dengue fever scuppered hopes that he might return for the limited-overs leg of Sri Lanka's recent tour of South Africa.

Lasith Malinga's international statistics
TestsODIsT20Is
Matches3019162
Wickets10129178
Average33.1527.7720.28
Best bowling5-506-385-31

With an idiosyncratic, slingy bowling action capable of delivering a devastating yorker, Malinga made a huge impression on the international scene after his 2004 debut.

He helped Sri Lanka reach the finals of the 2007 and 2011 World Cups, and 2009 and 2012 World T20s, although they were losing finalists on each occasion.

Malinga took over as Sri Lanka's Twenty20 captain midway through the 2014 World T20 in Bangladesh, and lifted the trophy after they beat India in the final, but he stepped down as skipper last March.

He retired from Test cricket in 2011, citing a "long-standing degenerative condition" which left his right knee unable to stand up to the rigours of five-day cricket.

With captain Angelo Mathews still injured, Upul Tharanga will continue to lead the Sri Lanka side down under.

Sri Lanka T20 squad for Australia: Upul Tharanga (capt), Niroshan Dickwella (wk), Asela Gunaratna, Chamara Kapugedara, Nuwan Kulasekara, Lasith Malinga, Kusal Mendis, Dilshan Munaweera, Sachith Pathirana, Seekkuge Prasanna, Lakshan Sandakan, Vikum Sanjaya, Dasun Shanaka, Milinda Siriwardana, Isuru Udana.

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