Colombo: Pacer Lasith Malinga, who led Sri Lanka to the World T20 title, the country first major crown for 18 years, has attributed his success in the just-concluded event in Bangladesh to IPL.
"My experience of playing in the IPL for 6 years helped", Malinga told reporters on arrival here. The team was given a hero's welcome at the international airport before being driven in an open bus to the central Colombo's Galle Face promenade for a civic reception.
Explaining the IPL experience, Malinga said Sri Lanka's success was mainly due to Indian batsmen's inability to make runs in the last four overs of the summit clash. "Indian batsmen are good at making a lot of runs in the final overs.
I knew from my IPL experience which side to bowl to them which field to set for them," Malinga, who consistently played well for the Mumbai Indians in the IPL said. "In the final I was executing the plans we had discussed before the game.
It helped having the seniors (Kumar) Sangakkara and Mahela (Jayawardene)." Malinga had earlier faced criticism from local fans and media that he had put the IPL before country as his performance against India had been left much to be desired.
Malinga's poor performance was cited as the main reason for Sri Lanka losing the 2011 World Cup final to India. Malinga became the first Sri Lankan captain since Arjuna Ranatunga to win a World Cup for Sri Lanka.
The pacer was thrusted into the role after regular captain Dinesh Chandimal wasa rendered unavailable for the last two games through an ICC suspension and later being dropped for poor form. Chandimal said he was happy to make a sacrifice for the betterment of the team. "What was important was to win the Cup so I was happy to let inform Lahiru Thirimanna to take my place," he said.