Mumbai Indians veteran Lasith Malinga Image Credit: PTI

Dubai: Lasith Malinga, the highest wicket-taker in the history of Indian Premier League, has pulled out of the Mumbai Indians team for the upcoming edition of the league in the UAE. Australian speedster James Pattinson will be replace him.

Malinga, who has 171 wickets to his name and had been a Mumbai Indians loyalist, has requested to make himself unavailable for the season for ‘personal reasons’ and to be with family back home in Sri Lanka.

Owner Akash Ambani welcomed Pattinson on board and extended all support to Malinga. “James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand, especially for the conditions we will play in this season in UAE.

Pattinson,30, is one of Australia’s leading fast-bowlers who turned out for Melbourne Renegades in the Big Bash League last season. He made a return to the international arena in 2019 during Australia’s Ashes campaign after a long lay-off with injury.

‘‘Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith’s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time,’’ Ambani said in a statement.