Mahela backing for Malinga
Mahela Jayawardene has backed fiery paceman Lasith Malinga's decision to retire from Test cricket.
Last Updated: 24/04/11 12:35pm
Former Sri Lanka captain Mahela Jayawardene has backed fiery paceman Lasith Malinga's decision to retire from Test cricket.
Malinga has announced his exit from the five-day format, citing a "career-threatening" knee injury, in order to prolong his one-day career.
The injury has been a long-standing problem for the 27-year-old and first appeared during a Test match in Australia in February 2008.
Jayawardene said: "I feel he [Malinga] has taken the right decision after pondering over all aspects.
"He has been suffering from this knee injury for quite some time.
"I know when I was the captain we used to try and calculate his work load and used him accordingly. At times it used to flare up and once he was away from cricket for 16 months.
"In order to extend his career he has to quit Test cricket. In fact his target is the next World Cup in 2015 and by bidding adieu to Tests he has prolonged his career in the shorter version of the game."
Malinga is currently playing in the Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians and his decision came following a stand-off with Sri Lanka's national selection committee, who eventually left the paceman out of the squad for next month's tour of England.
The committee was questioning his logic at citing injury and yet playing in the lucrative Twenty20 tournament.
But Malinga said: "I have realised that the heavy workload of Test cricket, which requires a fast bowler to be able to bowl more than 15 overs, sometimes on consecutive days, could lead to permanent injury.
"I have carefully considered my options and have decided that not playing Test cricket will help me achieve my goal of representing Sri Lanka in the 2012 World Twenty20 and the 2015 World Cup."