Sri Lanka's Lasith Malinga
Lasith Malinga Image Credit: AFP

Abu Dhabi: Maratha Arabians’ legendary pacer Lasith Malinga enjoys every moment of his cricketing career. In a candid interview with Gulf News he spoke freely about his qualities that have made him a special player, starting from his hair style to his ability to create fear even at the age of 37.

Malinga’s hair style is so popular that it is sold as a wig and is worn by millions of cricket fans all around the world. When asked about the legacy that he has created with his hair style, Malinga said: “I started this long back and it is my style. As my hair style is not doing any damage to others I decided that it is best to go this way.”

Malinga never bothered about the criticism that his hair style is ‘un-Sri Lankan’ and does not make him look like a gentleman. “People are making wigs and many things with my hair style and I enjoy with them,” he explained. “I am really happy with what I show to them as a player in the ground too.”

When asked about his 17-year career and his impact, he said he is a fighter to the core. “I am really happy with my achievements,” he said. “Last year was my 17th year. I fight with everyone … sometimes I fight with the ministers, sometimes with selectors and even coaches but still I have played for my national team and in franchise cricket. I think I have only done the right thing for cricket because if I did wrong I would not have survived. I know if I have fought I have fought for the right reasons.”

Does the question as to how long he would continue playing disturb him? “I am happy to answer this question. I know I am nearing the end of my career. I enjoyed my Test cricket, T20 and ODI and everything that I have played. I have got five hat-tricks and I am happy with everything that I have got from cricket. I earned money because of cricket. I am now 37 and I will stop playing in two years time and nice future for my kids and look after my family.”

When asked whether age has reduced his pace, he did not deny it. “My pace has reduced now but I still I can survive in T20, one-dayers and T10. Though my pace has reduced still I can bowl at 135 kmph. I can bowl good decent yorkers and slow ball. I can be at my best in T20 and T10.”