Sri Lanka legend Lasith Malinga, who retired from ODIs on a high, with figures of 3 for 38 in the team's 91-run triumph over Bangladesh at Colombo, signed off with a message for young bowlers -- he stated that must look all aspire to be match-winners.
Malinga, who decided to call it quits after the first ODI against Bangladesh, stated at the post-match conference, "My captains expect me to take wickets. I tried my best all throughout my career. I hope all the young bowlers do this as well.
“Because just surviving in cricket, I don't think anyone can go far. You have to be a match-winner. That's what I'm looking forward to in the future.
“These young bowlers have to get match-winning performances and people have to tell that's a match-winning bowler. We have a couple of guys, they have the ability, we have to look after them."
Malinga admitted he was happy to sign off with a win and was hopeful the team continues to win more often than not even with him not around."I think whether I'm retiring or not, winning is very important. We are a young team and we are looking forward to winning. These days we haven't had the momentum to get wins," stated the slinger.
Reflecting on this ODI career, the fast bowler said it was an honor to play for the country for 15 years, but the time had come to move on as Sri Lanka look to build aside for the 2023 World Cup.
"I've played the last 15 years for Sri Lanka. Really an honor to play and really happy to play for these people and for all the crowd that's been behind me. I feel this is the time I have to move on because we have to build for the 2023 World Cup and that's why I realized, okay, my time is up, I have to go," the senior pro added.
Sri Lanka, minus Malinga, face Bangladesh in the second ODI on Sunday.
--By A Cricket Correspondent