Sri Lanka sling bowler Malinga ready to fly high

Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena (L) and Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremasinghe gesture as Sri Lankan Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake (unseen) presents a supplementary budget to parliament, marking the first economic policy statement of the new government which came to power earlier in the month in Colombo on January 29, 2015. Sri Lanka's new government announced hefty taxes on top companies in a bid to raise revenue, accusing the previous regime of fudging the figures and leaving the economy in a "sad state". AFP PHOTO / Ishara S. KODIKARA (Photo credit should read Ishara S.KODIKARA/AFP/Getty Images)

April 25, 2010 (AFP) – The untamed bleached blond locks have been dyed black as Sri Lanka’s sling sensation Lasith Malinga tempers his looks and polishes his armoury for the World Twenty20 in the Caribbean. Short and squat, his unorthodox action, with a low point of release against the backdrop of the umpire’s chest or head, makes it hard for even the world’s finest batsmen to duck his yorkers or sight the ball.

“He was off for a while nursing injuries. But he’s on the mend now, working hard on his game, raring to make his mark in the World Twenty20,” Sri Lanka team manager, Anura Tennakoon told AFP.

A career-threatening right knee injury left him out of action in 2008 and early 2009, until he spend five days with Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapakse’s spiritual healer Eliyantha White.

“He (White) works with supernatural powers and herbs,” said Malinga, whose tattooed biceps, distinctive, unruly, streaked-blond hair and eyebrow-ring earned him the title of cricket’s sexiest man during the 2007 World Cup.

After a late start in 2009, Malinga marked his return to active cricket in the Indian Premier League where he was among the top bowlers, having grabbed 13 wickets in his first 11 matc