Mumbai Indians star Lasith Malinga is set to miss the start of the 2020 Indian Premier League.
This year’s tournament will take place in the UAE from September 19 to November 10.
However, MI will have to do without their Sri Lankan bowler until later in the competition. He will miss the start due to personal reasons, according to ESPNcricinfo.
It has been reported that the reason for his absence is so he can stay with his father who is ill and requires surgery. Malinga will apparently stay in Colombo to train rather than risk quarantine issues that might prevent him returning to his father’s side after traveling to the UAE.
The news will be a blow for Mumbai, who will likely face old foes Chennai Super Kings in the opener of this year’s edition.
Malinga, 36, is the highest wicket-taker in IPL history and has been retained by Mumbai ever since joining them in 2009.
He also played a key role in last season’s final as he defended eight runs in the last over to help Mumbai to a record fourth Indian Premier League title.
Other bowling options for Mumbai
While Malinga is likely to link up with the Indians later in the tournament, it means Mumbai are going to have to find a way of coping without him until that time.
Their bowling options currently include Trent Boult, Jasprit Bumrah, Nathan Coulter-Nile, Mitchell McClenaghan and Dhawal Kulkarni.
They also have the all-round abilities of Kieron Pollard and Hardik Pandya to turn to, so plugging the gap for a few games shouldn’t be too much of an issue.
UAE start times confirmed
The start times of matches for the Indian Premier League in the UAE has been confirmed.
Afternoon fixtures will begin at 15:30 Indian Standard Time, with evening matches beginning at 19:30 IST.
A BCCI statement read: “IPL 2020 will be played from 19 September and the final will be played on 10 November 2020. The 53-day tournament will witness 10-afternoon matches starting at 15:30 IST, while the evening matches will start at 19:30 IST.
“The governing council also discussed the comprehensive standard operating procedures, which will be finalised and published in due course, including the agencies to execute and deliver a bio-secure environment for safe and successful conduct of IPL 2020 season.”