Sri Lanka’s ‘X factor’ Malinga back in supernatural swing

LONDON, May 31, 2009 (AFP) – Lasith Malinga is such an integral part of Sri Lanka’s fast bowling arsenal that it needed the nation’s president to intervene and ensure he was fit for the World Twenty20s in England. The bowler with the rare sling-arm action, whose toe-crushing yorkers have tested the world’s finest batsmen, sat out the entire 2008 and early 2009 season with a career-threatening knee injury.

Malinga, 25, was unable to run or train, and the swollen bone in his right knee was so painful that he could barely climb stairs.

Worried the prodigious talent could be lost to the game, Sri Lankan president Mahinda Rajapaksa recommended that Malinga should meet a spiritual healer Eliyantha White.

“He (White) works with supernatural powers and herbs,” explained Malinga. “I don’t know what he does or how he does it, but it works. I am very grateful to him and the president.”

The treatment lasted five days and the pain disappeared. Malinga was fit to start his training. White later reportedly cured veteran Sanath Jayasuriya of a long-standing back problem.

Malinga marked his return to active cricket with a strong showing in the Indian Premier League in South Africa where he grabbed 18 wicke