Monday, October 12, 2009

Malinga to play Twenty20 for Lions

Lasith Malinga has become the second high-profile player to sign for the Highveld Lions after agreeing to a short-term contract.

The Sri Lanka fast bowler will follow England spinner Monty Panesar to the Johannesburg team and is set to play in the domestic Standard Bank Pro20 competition from February next year.

While Panesar will feature in the first-class SuperSport Series and one-day MTN Championship, Malinga will boost the Lions' bid for 20-over glory.
Union chief executive Alan Kourie said: "We are delighted to confirm that franchise coach Dave Nosworthy has successfully reached an agreement with Lasith Malinga to play in our Pro20 for the coming season.

"We are thrilled to have someone of Lasith's calibre joining us for what will be a very important season."

Malinga said: "I am really looking forward to playing for the Highveld Lions.
"I'm very grateful for the opportunity given to me and I hope I can repay that faith by helping the Lions win the tournament.

"Playing cricket in South Africa is always a challenge, and I hope the experience will make me a better cricketer."

Speculation linking the 26-year-old with a move to the Wanderers has been rife in recent weeks, but the move had to be ratified by Sri Lanka Cricket.

Malinga, who has taken 23 wickets in 18 Twenty20 internationals for an outstanding 19.26 average, will travel to South Africa in time to participate in the Lions' season-opener against the Cape Cobras in Cape Town on February 5.

Nosworthy said: "We wanted a world-class strike bowler, and Lasith ticks all the right boxes.

"He is an outstanding bowler, and his performances for the Mumbai Indians and Sri Lanka over the past year show just how valuable he is in the Twenty20 format."

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