Ten Sri Lanka players have decided to withdraw from the forthcoming tour of Pakistan amid security concerns.

Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) held a meeting with the squad on Monday at which the chief security advisor outlined the risks, with all players afforded the freedom to choose if they would travel. 

It was following that meeting that a number of players, including the likes of Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga and Dimuth Karunaratne, opted against featuring in the three ODIs and three Twenty20s scheduled across September and October.

The Sri Lanka team bus came under attack from gunmen in Lahore while touring Pakistan in 2009.

Confirming the news of the withdrawals, and SLC statement read: "Former Sri Lanka Air Force Commander, Marshal Air Roshan Goonetileke, who is the Chief Security Advisor of the SLC, briefed the players about the security situation in Pakistan and the security arrangements PCB [Pakistan Cricket Board] plans on implementing during Sri Lanka team’s tour of that country, whilst Chairman of the National Selection Panel Mr Asantha De Mel, explained about the selection policy for future tours.

"He said players will be given the freedom to decide on either taking part or not in the forthcoming Pakistan tour.

"Accordingly, the following players chose to stay away from the upcoming Pakistan series – Niroshan Dickwella, Kusal Perera, Dhananjaya De Silva, Thisara Perera, Akila Dananjaya, Lasith Malinga, Angelo Mathews, Suranga Lakmal, Dinesh Chandimal, Dimuth Karunaratne."

Kusal Mendis has also been ruled out by an injury suffered in the series with New Zealand.

Lasith Malinga claimed four wickets in as many balls against New Zealand as Sri Lanka recorded a resounding 37-run win in the third and final Twenty20 match of the series.

The veteran paceman produced a stunning second over on his way to recording figures of 5-6 - his best in the format for his country - that included accounting for three of the four Kiwi batsmen to make first-ball ducks.

Needing 126 to complete a 3-0 sweep, the Black Caps reached 15 before losing their first wicket, Colin Munro becoming Malinga's 100th T20 victim for Sri Lanka.

He immediately followed up the initial breakthrough by removing Hamish Rutherford and Colin de Grandhomme, in the process becoming the first bowler to claim two T20 hat-tricks at international level.

Not content with his treble, the 36-year-old trapped Ross Taylor lbw with a trademark yorker. Astonishingly, it is the second time Malinga has taken four in four for Sri Lanka, having previously achieved the feat against South Africa at the 2007 Cricket World Cup.

Tim Seifert was his fifth and final wicket on Friday, caught at slip trying to drive on the up, as the Kiwis collapsed in a heap, at one stage slipping to 47-8.

However, Tim Southee (28 not out) hit three sixes as Sri Lanka were forced to wait to clinch victory, New Zealand adding 36 runs for the final wicket before they were eventually bowled out for 88.

The home team had earlier laboured to 125-8 after opting to bat first, opener Danushka Gunathilaka top-scoring with 30 from 25 deliveries.

Niroshan Dickwella and T20 debutant Lahiru Madushanka also made useful contributions, weighing in with 24 and 20 respectively, but the home team struggled to cope against New Zealand's spin bowlers.

Mitchell Santner (3-12) and Todd Astle (3-28), who replaced fellow leg-spinner Ish Sodhi in the XI for the dead rubber, shared six wickets to help restrict the hosts.

Yet what appeared to be a below-par total at the halfway stage proved more than enough thanks to Malinga's heroics, giving Sri Lanka a morale-boosting triumph in Pallekele.

Lasith Malinga claimed his 99th international Twenty20 wicket to move top of the all-time list in the format but New Zealand edged to a five-wicket win over Sri Lanka in Pallekele on Sunday.

New Zealand, who lost the toss and were asked to field, rested Kane Williamson and were without Lockie Ferguson due to a fractured thumb, although the Black Caps said the fast bowler should be fit to face England in a five-match T20 series starting on November 1.

Sri Lanka were 50-1 at the end of an explosive powerplay with opener Kusal Mendis going on to make 79 off 53 balls, while Isuru Udana blasted Seth Rance for 15 off the last three balls of the innings to set a daunting target of 175.

Malinga got the hosts off to a flyer in the reply, bowling Colin Munro for a first-ball duck.

The veteran paceman took the T20 record when removed Colin de Grandhomme, who made a buccaneering 44 off 28 that kept New Zealand in the game before missing a full, straight ball.

Erratic work in the field continued to give the tourists hope and they were ahead on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method when rain came immediately after debutant Wanindu Hasaranga snared Ross Taylor (48 off 29), the batsman unsuccessfully reviewing the lbw verdict having earlier been dropped.

When play resumed New Zealand needed 18 off the last two overs and Malinga returned to the attack.

But a wild wide cost five runs and Daryl Mitchell lifted a full ball over the ropes, before hitting the winning runs off Udana to seal a thrilling victory with three balls to spare.

The three-match series resumes in Kandy on Tuesday.

Lasith Malinga said Sri Lanka must look to the future after ending his illustrious ODI career on a high note against Bangladesh on Friday.

The 35-year-old paceman took 3-38 as Sri Lanka started the three-match series with a resounding 91-run victory over the Tigers.

Malinga was given a guard of honour by his team-mates for his swansong in the 50-over format, which included a brilliant 111 from Kusal Perera.

The quick, who finished his ODI career with an astonishing 338 wickets from 226 matches, stated now is the time to give younger players a chance to showcase their talents.

"I played the last 15 years for Sri Lanka and it's an honour to play for these people, with the Sri Lankan people behind me." said Malinga, who sits third on the list of Sri Lanka's all-time leading ODI wicket-takers behind Muttiah Muralitharan and Chaminda Vaas.

"We have a new generation for 2023 and need to see who is the best for the next World Cup. It was the right time to go.

"Winning is very important because we are a young team. To survive in cricket you have to be yourself. I hope these young bowlers can put in match-winning performances. We have to look after them."

Lasith Malinga has played his final ODI, starring for Sri Lanka in Friday's victory against Bangladesh in Colombo.

The Lions seamer went out in style as he took three wickets for 38 runs - his dismissal of Mustafizur Rahman wrapping up the win - in a 91-run triumph.

Malinga will continue to play 20-over internationals until next year's T20 World Cup, but it was in the 50-over format that he first established himself as a worldwide bowling icon.

Marking the end of a brilliant career, we take a look at how he compares to the very best.

 

ONE OF SRI LANKA'S ELITE

Malinga ends his career at number three on Sri Lanka's list of ODI wicket-takers, having claimed 338 from 220 innings.

Only the great Muttiah Muralitharan (523) and Chaminda Vaas (399) can better that tally, both playing considerably more innings - 334 and 319 respectively.

That puts Malinga ahead of Sanath Jayasuriya, Nuwan Kulasekara, Dilhara Fernando and team-mate Thisara Perera, with his average of 28.87 better than each of those four players, too.

 

HIS PLACE AMONG THE GREATS

Those figures unsurprisingly put Malinga high on the all-time worldwide list, too.

The 35-year-old is ninth in a table that again sees compatriot Muralitharan on top, also trailing Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Vaas, Shahid Afridi, Shaun Pollock, Glenn McGrath and Brett Lee.

Counting only seamers in ODIs, Malinga is seventh, with Javagal Srinath (315 wickets) the next after him.

He also collected three hat-tricks, which is more than any other bowler in ODI history, while he had eight five-wicket hauls.

 

A GENUINE WORLD CUP STAR

A rare bowling list that Muralitharan does not lead is that of Cricket World Cup wickets, where he is second behind McGrath. Malinga, with 56, 15 behind the leader, is third.

That total came from just 28 innings as Malinga produced his best on the big stage, playing in four World Cups (2007, 2011, 2015 and 2019) and taking 12 or more wickets in each of them. No other bowler has taken at least 10 wickets in more than three tournaments.

Sri Lanka were runners-up in 2007 and 2011, and big-game player Malinga took a hat-trick in each tournament. He took four wickets from four balls for the first of those against South Africa.

Kusal Perera's blistering century set up Lasith Malinga for a triumphant ODI farewell as Sri Lanka crushed Bangladesh by 91 runs in Colombo.

Malinga laced his bowling boots for the final time in the 50-over format and removed openers Tamim Iqbal and Soumya Sarkar with trademark yorkers as Bangladesh' pursuit of 314-8 began its limp towards 223 all out.

The visitors faced such a lofty total thanks to Perera's superb 111 off 99 balls, which featured 17 fours and a six, while Kusal Mendis and Angelo Mathews played astute hands for 43 and 48 respectively.

Mathews' long-time colleague Malinga was the man the fans had come to see and he did not disappoint, closing the show to huge acclaim as Thisara Perera held a steepler to halt a breezy 18 from last man Mustafizur Rahman – the great fast bowler departing with 3-38 off 9.4 overs, the pick of Sri Lanka's attack one last time.

Malinga's new ball partner Nuwan Pradeep took 3-51 and Bangladesh's Shafiul Islam was another seamer to prosper (3-62).

Shafiul encouraged Avishka Fernando to chase a ball outside off stump and edge to slip, although that brought Kusal Perera into the fray.

He added a brisk 97 in 73 balls alongside Dimuth Karunaratne before the skipper top-edged a sweep off Mehidy Hasan Miraz to Mustafizur to fall for 36.

Mendis was the next willing accomplice for the centurion as they put on 100 for the third wicket, with Kusal Perera reaching his milestone via a four to the midwicket boundary off Mosaddek Hossain in the 28th over.

Sri Lanka's scoring predictably slowed after the returning Soumya accounted for Kusal Perera, who tamely lobbed a catch to Mustafizur at short fine leg, and Mendis feathered Rubel Hossain behind in the following over.

Mathews used all his experience to guide the hosts beyond 300 before falling to Mustafizur (2-75) in the penultimate over.

Malinga - who is set to continue playing T20 internationals - and Pradeep's efforts at the top of the order had Bangladesh tottering on 39-4 in the 12th over.

Mushfiqur Rahim and Sabbir Rahman combined pleasingly in a stand of 111, although the game was up when the latter holed out to Fernando off Dhananjaya de Silva (2-49) for 60.

Pradeep had Mushfiqur strangled down the leg side for 67 and the man of the hour, Malinga, could enjoy his closing spell with the game in the bag.

The second game of the three-match series takes place in Colombo on Sunday.

Sri Lanka Cricket president Shammi Silva hailed Lasith Malinga as an all-time great after the paceman announced he will make his final ODI appearance on Friday.

Malinga is to finish his stellar international career in the 50-over format after the opening game in the three-match series against Bangladesh in Colombo.

The limited-overs specialist is third on the list of Sri Lanka's leading ODI wicket-takers, claiming 335 in 225 matches.

Silva lavished praised on the 35-year-old, who will remain available for Twenty20 International selection.

"Lasith Malinga is an exceptional player, who has contributed immensely to the game of cricket in Sri Lanka," Silva said.

"His departure from ODI cricket opens up a door for young bowlers to come and emulate what Malinga has done, while playing for the country."

Lasith Malinga has told Dimuth Karunaratne he will retire from ODIs following the first match against Bangladesh, according to the Sri Lanka captain.

The 35-year-old had already announced plans to quit cricket following next year's T20 World Cup, yet his final ODI appearance is set to come this week.

Sri Lanka face Bangladesh in a three-match ODI series, starting on Friday, but Karunaratne is expecting to be without Malinga following the opener in Colombo.

"We need to find a wicket-taking bowler because Malinga is not available after this series," the skipper told a news conference.

"He is going to play the first match. After that, he is retiring. That's what he said to me. I don't know what he said for the selectors but, for me, he said he is playing only one match."

Malinga has taken 335 wickets in 225 ODIs, sitting third on his country's all-time list, with 13 dismissals at the recent Cricket World Cup.

Karunaratne added ahead of taking on Bangladesh: "As the captain of Sri Lanka, after the World Cup, we need to build a good team.

"We are trying to find some new talent, so we are giving some chances to the youngsters in this series. We want to play a good cricket series."

Sri Lanka have recalled Niroshan Dickwella for the three-match ODI series against Bangladesh.

A surprise omission from Sri Lanka's Cricket World Cup squad, wicketkeeper-batsman Dickwella is one of 22 players selected for the 50-over fixtures on home soil.

Akila Dananjaya, Danushka Gunathilaka and Lakshan Sandakan also return, while Nuwan Pradeep - who returned home early from England due to chickenpox - is fit enough to be included.

However, Suranga Lakmal and Jeevan Mendis are left out after featuring at the tournament, along with Milinda Siriwardana and Jeffrey Vandersay.

Colombo is the venue for the trio of fixtures, which start on July 26. The teams meet again just two days later before concluding the short series on July 31.

Lasith Malinga is also set to feature. The paceman said in March he plans to retire from cricket after next year's T20 World Cup in Australia.

 

Sri Lanka squad: Dimuth Karunaratne (captain), Kusal Perera, Avishka Fernando, Kusal Mendis, Angelo Mathews, Lahiru Thirimanne, Shehan Jayasuriya, Dhananjaya de Silva, Niroshan Dickwella, Danushka Gunathilaka, Dasun Shanaka, Wanindu Hasaranga, Akila Dhananjaya, Amila Aponso, Lakshan Sandakan, Lasith Malinga, Nuwan Pradeep, Kasun Rajitha, Lahiru Kumara, Thisara Perera, Isuru Udana, Lahiru Madushanka

Lasith Malinga rocked England with a magnificent four-wicket haul as Sri Lanka stunned the Cricket World Cup favourites with a 20-run win in a Headingley thriller despite the best efforts of Ben Stokes.

England looked to be taking another stride towards the semi-finals when they reduced Sri Lanka to 232-9 with Jofra Archer (3-52), Mark Wood (3-40) and Adil Rashid (2-45) doing the bulk of the damage.

Angelo Mathews top scored with a patient unbeaten 85 following a rapid 49 from Avishka Fernando in his first match of the tournament, but Sri Lanka's score of 232-9 appeared to be below par.

Veteran quick Malinga proved he can still be the man for the big occasion, though, taking 4-43 and becoming only the fourth man to take 50 World Cup wickets as England slumped from 170-5 to 212 all out with three overs remaining.

Stokes was left stranded on a superb unbeaten 82 after the in-form Joe Root fell for 57 on his home ground, Dhananjaya de Silva claiming 3-32 in a brilliant performance from Sri Lanka in the field.

Sri Lanka are just two points behind third-placed England, who still have Australia, India and New Zealand - the other three sides in the top four - to play in the battle for semi-final spots.

ARCHER AND WOOD HIT THE MARK AGAIN

Archer and Chris Woakes (1-22) removed both openers to reduce to leave Sri Lanka in deep trouble on 3-2 after they won the toss and elected to bat.

Fernando played some attractive shots before he guided a short ball from Wood to the excellent Rashid, who was on a hat-trick after removing Kusal Mendis (46) and Jeevan Mendis.

Sri Lanka were unable to accelerate with a cautious Mathews lacking support, Root taking a fine diving catch to get rid of Dhananjaya for Archer, who ripped through the lower order along with the equally impressive Wood. 

 

MALINGA ROLLS BACK THE YEARS

Malinga has delivered for Sri Lanka many times over the years and he snared Jonny Bairstow for the opener's second golden duck of the tournament before seeing the back of James Vince (14).

Eoin Morgan fell to Isuru Udana for 21 after his explosive hundred against Afghanistan and the hosts were 127-4 when Root became Malinga's 50th World Cup victim, Sri Lanka gaining their rewards for disciplined bowling.

The brilliant Malinga pinned Jos Buttler leg before to leave the game in the balance with Stokes holding the key for England.

 

STOKES LEFT STRANDED, DHANANJAYA DELIVERS

Dhananjaya then came to the fore, Moeen Ali holing out with a poor shot attempting to hit a second successive six in his 100th ODI.

It was very much advantage Sri Lanka when spinner Dhananjaya had Woakes and Rashid caught behind in the 41st over - reducing England to 178-8.

Stokes continued to play with maturity as his team-mates lost their heads and he also struck four sixes, but despite farming the strike with intelligence in a final-wicket stand of 26, his knock was in vain when Nuwan Pradeep had Wood caught behind.

Lasith Malinga will fly home after Sri Lanka's Cricket World Cup match against Bangladesh due to the death of his mother-in-law, but the quick is expected to return before their next game.

Malinga will leave the squad following Tuesday's encounter with Bangladesh in Bristol to attend Kanthi Perera's funeral in Colombo two days later.

The 35-year-old paceman is due back in England in time to take on holders Australia at The Oval on Saturday.

Malinga took 3-39 in the victory over Afghanistan last week after failing to strike in a hammering at the hands of New Zealand.

Lasith Malinga produced an outstanding exhibition of death bowling to secure a dramatic one-run win over Chennai Super Kings and seal a record fourth Indian Premier League title for Mumbai Indians.

Chennai needed only nine runs off the last over to retain their crown and become the first team to win the IPL four times, but Malinga held his nerve to deny MS Dhoni's side.

CSK required four to win off two balls after Shane Watson was run out for 80 having hesitated going for a second as the tension built in the final over in Hyderabad on Sunday.

Shardul Thakur struck the penultimate delivery for two, but was trapped leg before by the ice-cool Malinga off the final ball to spark huge celebrations from the Indians and their supporters.

There was nobody more relieved than Indians teenager Rahul Chahar, who dropped Watson on 42 and 55.

Deepak Chahar, Rahul's cousin, earlier took 3-26 and Imran Tahir claimed 2-23 to restrict Mumbai to 149-8, Kieron Pollard top scoring with 41 not out off 25 balls.

Watson was named man of the match after smashing an unbeaten century in last year's final against Sunrisers Hyderabad and looked set to see CSK home again, but fellow veteran Malinga was the hero on this occasion.

Chennai have now lost three out of four deciders they have played against Mumbai, who were worthy champions after being top at the end of the regular season.

Mumbai Indians claimed top spot in the Indian Premier League with a convincing nine-wicket victory over Kolkata Knight Riders on Sunday.

With Chennai Super Kings losing earlier in the day, Mumbai knew a home win would be enough to ensure pole position heading into the play-offs.

And, having restricted their opponents to 133-7 in the first innings, the hosts made light work of Kolkata's bowling attack.

Captain Rohit Sharma was the star, hitting an unbeaten 55, with Suryakumar Yadav (46 not out) also getting in on the act as the Indians reached their total for the loss of just one wicket. 

Mumbai, who finish top courtesy of a better net run rate, will meet second-place Chennai in the first qualifier at Chepauk, while Kolkata's defeat means Sunrisers Hyderabad clinch the last available play-off spot.

PANDYA BROTHERS KEEP IT TIGHT AS MALINGA DOES THE DAMAGE

After losing the toss, Kolkata were put into bat, and an impressive 38 from Chris Lynn had them 49-0 at the end of the first powerplay.

But all-rounder Hardik Pandya stepped up, claiming Lynn's fellow opener Shubman Gill with his first ball.

While his brother Krunal kept it tight with an impressive 0-14, Hardik Pandya took Lynn's wicket in the eighth over, setting the stage for Sri Lanka international Lasith Malinga (3-35) and Jasprit Bumrah (2-31) to sweep up.

SHARMA, YADAV EASE TO VICTORY

Defending just 133, Kolkata's slim hopes were dealt a further blow in the first over – Quinton de Kock slamming Sandeep Warrier for six in the third ball of the first over.

Matters were made worse in the fourth over, Andre Russell going for 21 in six balls, with Rohit cutting for a four before De Kock hit successive sixes.

De Kock's knock came to an end when Dinesh Karthik pulled off a brilliant catch, but that was all the visitors could muster.

Rohit had settled well and made his way to a measured 50 while Yadav ran riot, striking five fours and two sixes – the latter of which was a huge maximum down mid-wicket – to wrap up the win in style.

Chennai Super Kings slipped to a rare home IPL defeat as they missed the chance to book a play-off place against Mumbai Indians.

The Super Kings lead the standings this season but struggled badly with the bat on Friday, coming up 46 runs short in a chase that never truly fired.

Rohit Sharma's 67 had helped the Indians to 155-4 and it quickly became apparent that it would be enough to see off the hosts, who lost in front of their own fans for the first time in 2019.

Murali Vijay top-scored for Chennai with 38, while Mitchell Santner built on an impressive bowling show with a late 22, but they reached a measly 109 before being bowled out in 17.4 overs.

 

SPINNERS STAR FOR SUPER KINGS

The Super Kings were well on top for much of the Indians' innings, with their spin bowlers enjoying economical days.

Harbhajan Singh allowed just 23 runs from his four overs, while New Zealand international Santner produced the most eye-catching figures for Chennai, taking the wickets of Rohit and Evin Lewis (32) for just 13 runs.

Santner's intervention was particularly crucial with Rohit and Lewis having threatened to take control, combining for 75 runs as the former hit a trio of sixes and six fours.

INDIANS START TO TURN TIDE

Mumbai were in a tricky spot after 19 overs, on just 138-4, but 17 runs from the final six balls saw Hardik Pandya (23 not out) and Kieron Pollard (13no) end on a crucial unbroken partnership worth 33.

Vijay dug in as the Super Kings began their reply, yet his team-mates were not so stubborn as wickets tumbled early and often.

Lasith Malinga, Hardik and Krunal Pandya took a wicket apiece as Shane Watson, Suresh Raina and Ambati Rayudu departed, leaving Chennai 34-3 early on.

MISSING KEY MEN AT CRUCIAL TIME

Without captain MS Dhoni and Faf du Plessis, the Super Kings lacked a leader to rescue them from a tricky situation and Mumbai instead continued to make inroads.

Opener Vijay offered some resistance but finally went, while Malinga claimed a return catch to dismiss Dwayne Bravo for 20 as Chennai struggled to strike a balance between chasing their target and keeping wickets in hand.

The hosts still needed 53 runs from the final three overs but did not even make it to the end of the innings as Santner, hunting boundaries, picked out Pollard to see Malinga finish with 4-37.

Mumbai Indians consigned Indian Premier League strugglers Royal Challengers Bangalore to a five-wicket defeat thanks to Hardik Pandya's late cameo at Wankhede Stadium.

The Challengers had picked up their first win of the 2019 season at the seventh attempt last time out but fell to another demoralising loss on Monday as the hosts overhauled their 171-7 with an over to spare.

It looked like being a tight finish as the Indians needed 22 off the last 12 balls, but Pandya (37 not out off 16) struck Pawan Negi for two fours and two sixes to get his side over the line.

Moeen Ali starred in a losing cause for RCB, making 50 off 32 in a partnership worth 95 with AB de Villiers (75 from 51) before returning 2-18 to give his team hope that was ultimately quashed by Pandya's blitz.

 

MOEEN FINDS FORM AT LAST ALONGSIDE DESTRUCTIVE DE VILLIERS

England all-rounder Moeen's previous top score in this IPL had been 32 but he looked in good touch, thumping five sixes in his 31-ball fifty.

Two of those came in one over from Jason Behrendorff, whose four overs cost 49 on the day he was included in Australia's World Cup squad.

Parthiv Patel had earlier taken the seamer for three fours and a maximum in the fifth, and De Villiers' fourth half-century of the tournament – featuring six fours and four sixes – boosted RCB's total.

 

MALINGA MAGIC PRECEDES OPENING ONSLAUGHT

The Challengers' progress was checked slightly as Lasith Malinga (4-31) picked up his four wickets in overs 18 and 20, before Quinton de Kock and Rohit Sharma went on the offensive for Mumbai.

The pair cleared the ropes four times between them in a seven-over stand worth 70, before Moeen dismissed them both in the space of four balls.

Rohit was cleaned up having made 28 off 19 and De Kock was trapped in front after a typically brisk 26-ball 40.

 

PANDYA PUNISHES NEGI

The game remained firmly in the balance heading into the penultimate over, where Pandya took control.

Negi's second ball disappeared over long-on and the next two were also smashed to the ropes before the fifth delivery was slog-swept over the leg-side for another maximum.

Mumbai's equation was reduced to two required off seven and the game was done, leaving RCB rooted to the foot of the table.

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