IPL 2017: Lasith Malinga, Asela Gunaratne to miss Mumbai Indians’ opener

Monday, 10 April 2017

According to recent media reports, the Sri Lankan duo of Lasith Malinga and Asela Gunaratne will be unavailable for the first few days of the Indian Premier League (IPL) because of national duty.

Both players are part of the Mumbai Indians squad meaning the two-time IPL champions will miss the record wicket-taker and all-rounder for their opening game.

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Sri Lanka is set to play T20I matches against Bangladesh on April 4 and April 6.

Mumbai Indians play their 2017 season opener against Rising Pune Supergiants on April 6 which means they will miss the Lankan duo and have a weakened squad even with Rohit Sharma declared fit to play.

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Malinga is the IPL’s all-time leading wicket-taker with 143 scalps from 98 matches with an average of 17.8. The 33-year-old had missed the 2016 IPL season because of a knee injury that kept him out of action for nearly a year. He returned to the Sri Lankan T20I team in the tour of Australia in February.

His compatriot Gunaratne was picked by Mumbai Indians in the 2017 IPL auction after some impressive limited-overs performances. He has a batting average of 42 and two half-centuries from seven T20Is.

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Sharma — the leading run-getter for Mumbai Indians — was declared fit to play by the BCCI medical team on Saturday. He had suffered a thigh injury that required surgery and kept him out of action for four months. On his return to playing, he was benched once again by a minor knee injury during the Deodhar Trophy but was declared to have fully recovered.

Other good news for Mumbai Indians was that Hardik Pandya was also declared fit to play.