New Delhi - Sri Lankan fast bowler Lasith
Malinga has been ruled out of this season's Indian Premier League because of
the lingering knee injury that also sidelined him at the World Twenty20.
Malinga, the IPL's highest all-time
wicket-taker, has flown back to Sri Lanka from India where he had been with his
Mumbai Indians team, but had not played in any of their three matches.
"MI's star pacer, Lasith Malinga has
been ruled out of IPL 2016 due to a knee injury," the team wrote on their
official Twitter handle late Sunday.
"Malinga was expected to miss the
first few matches of MI's IPL '16 campaign but the recovery period is longer
than previously expected.
"MI will now look for a worthy
replacement for Lasith Malinga this season," the team said.
Sri Lankan Cricket on Sunday warned Malinga
against playing in the lucrative Twenty20 league without first getting
clearance from the board.
Malinga is slated to undergo a fitness
assessment on Wednesday in Colombo after which "the board will decide what
course of action will be taken".
The injury casts doubt over his
availability for Sri Lanka's tour of England starting next month.
Malinga was dropped as Sri Lankan captain
on the eve of the World T20 in India in March-April because of injury after
presiding over Sri Lanka's dismal showing in the Asia Cup.
The 32-year-old has a long history of
injury problems and retired from Test cricket in 2010, saying he was unable to
withstand the rigour of five-day matches.
Nicknamed 'Slinga Malinga' because of his
bowling action, the curly-haired Malinga is an invaluable member of the
national team and a key figure for Mumbai.