Mumbai Indians fast bowler Lasith Malinga won't play in the 2020 Indian Premier League.
Malinga has withdrawn from the tournament due to personal reasons.
He has been replaced in the Mumbai squad by Australian fast bowler James Pattinson, who previously represented the Kolkata Knight Riders. Pattinson has also played for the Melbourne Renegades and Brisbane Heat in Australia's Big Bash League.
“Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI's strength,” said Mumbai Indians owner Akash Ambani.
“There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith's cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith's need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time.”
Mumbai's IPL Record
The Mumbai Indians are the reigning IPL champions. They beat the Chennai Super Kings in the 2019 final. Mumbai have four IPL titles. Chennai have three. The Kolkta Knight Riders clinched one in 2012 and another in 2014. The Sunrisers Hyderabad and Rajasthan Royals have a title each.
The Royal Challengers Bangalore, Kings XI Punjab and Delhi Capitals have never won the IPL.
IPL 2020 in the UAE
This year's IPL will be played in the United Arab Emirates. The host cities will be Abu Dhabi, Dubai and Sharjah. The UAE hosted the tournament in 2014, too.
The first half of this season's IPL will be played without spectators. This will be done as a preventative measure against the spread of the coronavirus.
Raina Withdrew Before Malinga
Malinga is not the first player to withdraw from the IPL 2020 due to personal reasons. The Chennai Super Kings' Suresh Raina did the same last month.
“It was a personal decision and I had to come back for my family. There was something that needed to be addressed immediately on the home front,” Raina told Cricbuzz at the time.
“CSK is my family too and MS Dhoni is very important to me and this was a tough decision. There is no issue between CSK and me.”
Malinga's IPL Record
The veteran Malinga has taken the most wickets in the history of the IPL. The Sri Lankan fast bowler has 170 IPL wickets in 122 matches. The tally includes six four-wicket hauls and one five-for. He has only played for the Mumbai Indians in the tournament.