It is singular that Malinga's swansong will be at his favorite stadium, a place where he had bagged 49 wickets during his ODI career.
Paying tribute to the legendary bowler, authorities have taken measures to decorate the stadium with cut-outs, banners and posters etc. revolving Malinga and post-match fireworks. A special ceremony has also been
organized to be held in front of his family where a special and valuable gold coin, which will be presented to Malinga in recognition of his 16-year career.
Making his ODI debut against UAE at Dambulla Stadium on July 17, 2004, Malinga has bagged 335 wickets in 225 ODIs so far. He is the tenth-highest wicket-taker in the format. Among Sri Lanka bowlers, only Muttiah
Muralitharan (534) and Chaminda Vaas (400) have more ODI wickets.
Known as the bowler behind the world's most dangerous yorkers, Malinga also holds 3 ODI hat-tricks, which is the most among all bowlers.
Meanwhile, Sri Lanka captain Dimuth Karunaratne said that the most fitting farewell for retiring paceman Lasith Malinga will be to win the series-opening limited-overs international against Bangladesh.“Mainly we want to focus about winning the match. That’s the best thing we can give for him... we will try to give him the best farewell in this first one-day,” Karunaratne said.
However, he had also said that that it would also be an issue to fill the void left by Malinga as a strong, wicket taking bowler.
Malinga pays tribute to Kule
Speaking to media, Lasith Malinga has also spoken of the support he had got from his former team member - Nuwan Kulasekara."In 2017, I was taken off the team. When this happened continuously, I told the SLC I wanted to retire. However, they said they could not give a match to do so. I had no choice. So I was determined to come back to the team somehow. I trained alone and made a comeback at the Asian championships. Many people said that I couldn't play two or three games in a row.But I kept playing. I gave the required answer. I decided to bid adieu only when I felt it was time. Not when others felt so. I am very happy with that,”
“When I first came to the international arena, Vaas was there. I was bowling with him. Then Kulasekara joined. We have been bowling together for about 13 years from both end. Kulasekara continues to bowl for about 5 overs without giving a score. In the middle of that pressure, I got wickets when batsmen tried to score while I was bowling from the other end. It was only because of Kule's support I became a successful, wicket taking bowler.
I will never forget that," he reminisced.