Mumbai Indians to discuss Malinga's IPL participation with Sri Lanka board

The Mumbai Indians franchise also suffered a setback as New Zealand pacer Adam Milne has been ruled out with injury.

Lasith Malinga bowls at the nets during a practice session.   -  K. Murali Kumar

There is still no clarity on Lasith Malinga’s participation in the Indian Premier League (IPL) this season, as the pacer – roped in by the Mumbai Indians for Rs2 crore – has been asked by Sri Lanka Cricket to participate in the Super Provincial One Day domestic tournament in a bid to be eligible for World Cup selection.

But Mumbai Indians coach Mahela Jayawardene indicated that the franchise has initiated the negotiation process. “The report (in the media) was last night, so we need to gather (our) thoughts and see. If you read the entire thing, the tournament (in Sri Lanka) is for four days or five days in April (April 4-11). So till that time, there is availability,” the former Sri Lanka captain said.

READ | Malinga to miss six matches for Mumbai Indians

“When we got (into the) auction, Sri Lanka Cricket gave us his availability schedule, so that tournament wasn’t a part of that. So there is a conversation to be made. Once we get through that conversation, we will let you know what exactly is happening, but (it) is way too early for us to comment on (whether he will be available),” Jayawardene said.

The franchise also suffered a setback as New Zealand pacer Adam Milne was ruled out due to injury. “Adam is waiting on his fitness. He suffered an injury four weeks back while playing a game, so we needed to wait for his recovery and his progress. We had a report two days back saying that he is not 100 percent and he might not be able to be part of the extended IPL, so we have realised that we need a replacement. We are considering that, but we have got enough resources (for now),” he said.

If injury and unavailability are concerns, Jayawardene is happy with the way Hardik Pandya is gearing up for the IPL.

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“He is working really hard and is 200 percent fit. We have been working on his skills for the last two-three weeks because that’s something he hasn’t been able to (do). He is in very good space and is raring to go,” he said.

Jayawardene also said that the Mumbai franchise will monitor the workload of the World Cup-bound players. “It’s about the individuals on how they handle things. Then it’s also the responsibility of the franchise (not just about the Indians players, but also international players) that their workload is monitored and is looked after. It’s good for the franchise as well as you want your players to be fresh and fit, so we will do that monitoring,” he said. “We have been given all their previous workloads, so we will keep continuing…”