NEW DELHI, April 22, 2011 (AFP) – Injury-prone paceman Lasith Malinga on Friday stunned Sri Lanka by quitting Test cricket in a bid to prolong his career in one-day internationals and Twenty20 matches. Chief selector Duleep Mendis hit out at the 27-year-old’s handling of the announcement, saying the bowler — who has pierced eyebrows, dyed blond locks and a distinctive slinging action — had not informed them of his decision.
The colourful Malinga is on top form for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and recently made himself unavailable for Sri Lanka’s Test series in England, attracting criticism that he had chosen club over country.
“In January this year I wrote a letter to Sri Lanka Cricket and released a statement to the media confirming that I planned to reassess my Test future after the World Cup,” he said in a statement.
“I decided that I needed to make myself unavailable for Test cricket in an effort to prolong my career as a national cricketer for Sri Lanka.
“Although I am sufficiently fit to play both ODI and T20 cricket, I have a long-standing degenerative condition in my right knee that needs to be carefully managed.”
Mendis said the paceman’s decision to qu