May 03, 2017

Ford on Malinga’s fitness

Early signs suggest Lasith Malinga will be fit enough to bowl ten overs per match by the time the Champions Trophy rolls around, according to Sri Lanka's head coach Graham Ford, though he also hinted there was a possibility Malinga could play even if not quite fully fit.

"I'm really hoping that he's going to be 100% fit," Ford said of Malinga. "Before he left for the IPL, some of the work that he was putting in gave me great confidence. I'm not at all looking at the possibility that he might be half-fit. All the reports I've had is that he's going really well. I've spoken to Mahela a couple of times, and when Mumbai left him out for one game I quickly got hold of Mahela wondering if there was something wrong. He said there's nothing wrong with him, but that the programme is so hectic that they have plans to win the competition and they need him to go the whole way through. Rest time is important. "

"All the indications are that he's going to be able to give us something special. What I saw of his attitude is that he's missed international cricket and missed doing wonderful things for Sri Lankan cricket. As time runs out on his career, he's very determined to make an impact on this Champions Trophy."

Malinga has not played an ODI since November 2015, thanks to various leg injuries, but he had made a return to international T20s against Australia in February, following a year-long layoff.

(Excerpts : Cricinfo)