Mumbai Indians have signed Australian pacer James Pattinson as a replacement for Lasith Malinga for the upcoming season of the IPL 2020 in the UAE. Malinga made himself unavailable for personal reasons and to “be with family back home in Sri Lanka”, the franchise announced on Wednesday (September 2).
“James is the right fit for us and adds to our pace attack options available at hand especially for the conditions we will play in this season,” MI owner Akash Ambani said. “Lasith is a legend and a pillar of MI’s strength. There is no denying the fact that we will miss Lasith’s cricketing acumen this season. However, we fully understand Lasith’s need to be in Sri Lanka with his family during this time.”
Malinga, the leading wicket-taker of the IPL, made his IPL debut in 2009. Last year, defending 9 runs for their fourth title, he helped MI to the title, conceding just 7 to give them a one-run win against Chennai Super Kings off the last ball.
In 122 matches, he has returned 170 wickets, at an average of 19.80 and an economy rate of 7.14, whereas Pattinson has never played an IPL game yet. Pattinson is set to join the rest of the team at Abu Dhabi over the weekend.
The 13th edition of the tournament will kick-off on September 19, although, the schedule for the tournament is yet to be announced.