The Sri Lankan speedster informed his decision to the Mumbai Indians management earlier this month, making himself unavailable for the upcoming season and wasn't retained in the squad.
Malinga has been a part for Mumbai Indians since the second season of IPL, missing only two editions - 2018 and 2020. He served as the bowling mentor of the side in 2018 before returning to playing duties and delivering Mumbai a title win - his fourth with the team - with what has turned out to be his final delivery in the competition. He missed the 2020 season due to personal reasons but remains the highest wicket-taker in the tournament's history with 170 scalps to his credit, from 122 appearances.
The Sri Lankan speedster has also been a part of Jamaica Tallawahs, Guyana Amazon Warriors, Khulna Tigers, Rangpur Riders and Melbourne Stars among other T20 franchises around the world. With 390 wickets in 295 matches, he is only behind Dwayne Bravo in the list of leading T20 wicket-takers. His last T20 appearance came in March 2020, when he led Sri Lanka against West Indies, and hasn't played any games during the pandemic.
Speaking of his decision Malinga said: "After discussing with family, I think now is the right time to retire from all franchise cricket. The pandemic situation and the restrictions on travel will make it difficult for me given my personal circumstances to participate fully in franchise cricket for the next year and therefore it is best to make this decision now.
"I have discussed the same with Mumbai Indians management in recent days as they prepare for the upcoming auction and they have been very supportive and understanding. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Ambani family, everyone at the Mumbai Indians franchise and all our fans for the wonderful 12 years.
"Mumbai Indians has treated me like family, supporting me 100 % in every situation both on and off the field, and always giving me the confidence and the freedom to play my natural game whenever I walked onto the field.
"I have collected so many happy memories that I cherish and I am very grateful to have played for so long for the best franchise in world cricket. I would like to wish Mrs Nita Ambani, coach Mahela (Jayawardene), Akash (Ambani) and the MI family all the best for the upcoming season."