Mumbai Indians' premier fast bowler Lasith Malinga has opted out of the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League. The franchise confirmed the news on Wednesday, and also announced James Pattinson as his replacement.
The MI, on their official Twitter profile wrote, "Lasith Malinga will miss this season's #Dream11IPL with Australian speedster James Pattinson replacing him."
The franchise confirmed that Malinga has opted out of the tournament due to personal reasons. "Lasith Malinga has requested unavailability for the season for personal reasons and to be with family back home in Sri Lanka," the statement from the franchise read.
Pattinson, who has been brought in as the replacement for the Sri Lankan pacer, will join the MI squad this weekend.
“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," said Akash Ambani, the owner of Mumbai Indians.
Lasith Malinga is the highest wicket-taker in the history of the Indian Premier League. "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," the statement read.