Sri Lanka star Lasith Malinga says he is willing to push through the pain barrier to play at the World Cup.
Hafeez World Cup: Pakistan star ruled out of one-day cricket’s showpiece event
Lehmann Clarke: Aussie coach “sick” of media speculation surrounding Clarke’s captaincy
Clarke World Cup: Aussie skipper denies he is at loggerheads with both his teammates and Cricket Australia
Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga has declared himself fit and available for his side’s opening World Cup clash with New Zealand on Saturday.
An ankle injury prevented Malinga from taking any part in Sri Lanka’s seven-match ODI series against New Zealand this summer, but he is likely to play in his side’s warm-up games against South Africa and Zimbabwe this week.
Captain Angelo Mathews said Malinga was the “x-factor” the 1996 World Cup winners needed.
“You can’t write off the rest of the bowlers that we have,” Mathews was quoted as saying by ESPNCricinfo.
“We’ve got fairly experienced bowlers, but Lasith is the X-factor. It’s just that in a one-off game, the others can also come into the party.
“We all expect Lasith to do well but I’m pretty sure with the amount of talent that we’ve got in the side, anyone can do the job for us.”
Malinga says he is willing to push through the pain barrier to play at the World Cup.
“I’m getting used to the pain because I really want to play in this World Cup,” he said.
“If there’s pain, it doesn’t matter. I want to play … I’m not sure of the pace and how that’s going, but I’ve got good rhythm and a good run up.”
Sri Lanka face co-hosts New Zealand in the tournament opener on Saturday in Christchurch.