Malinga wants to play T20Is for two more years

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Sri Lanka captain and veteran pacer Lasith Malinga has had a rethink on his decision to retire after next year’s Twenty20 World Cup, saying he can carry on for another two years.

Malinga, in March, had stated that he wanted to retire after the Twenty20 World Cup scheduled in October-November in Australia next year. But the 36-year-old, who captains Sri Lanka in the shortest format, now says he can play on beyond that.

“T20 is four overs and I feel with my skill, I can manage T20 as a bowler. As a captain, because I’ve played so many T20s around the world that I feel I can manage that period for maybe another two years,”Malinga told ESPNCricinfo.

The veteran said he is waiting to hear from Sri Lanka Cricket on whether he would be leading the side in the Twenty20 showpiece.

“(Sri Lanka Cricket) said for the World Cup I have to be lead there but you never know in Sri Lanka,” he said.

The only bowler with 100 T20 International wickets said Sri Lanka need continuity in leadership for a lasting change of fortunes after a period of slump.

“Sri Lanka are lacking that skillful bowler, they lack those consistencies. We can’t get one year, one and a half years, all fixed, it might be that we need to get patience, maybe two or three years,” he said.

“Consistency is very important. I feel whoever is doing the next selection have to understand that (for) people (to learn), they have to be there. If he’s on the bench, nobody can learn,” he added.

Malinga said the only way he can contribute to the game in the country is by continuing to play.

“If I believe I can give something for the youngsters, then I need to be there. I can tell, but now I can show them ‘this is the way how you do it.’ But if I don’t play then I can’t do that,” he said.

Since his reappointment as captain, Sri Lanka have won one, tied one, and lost eight of their last 10 T20 Internationals.