The St Lucia Stars are hoping to go all the way to the Hero Caribbean Premier League (CPL) title and they have signalled their intent with the addition of the Sri Lankan legend Lasith Malinga. We caught up with the slippery slinger to discuss in the Caribbean, yorkers and the growth of the Hero CPL.
Lasith Malinga has travelled all around the world playing cricket, but has particularly fond memories of the Caribbean. He was part of the Sri Lanka side that went to the final of the 2007 World Cup – and also enjoyed a spell with the Guyana Amazon Warriors in the 2015 Hero CPL.
“I really like Trinidad. I really enjoyed the 2007 World Cup, and we spent most of my time there. All the Caribbean countries – St Lucia and St Kitts… everywhere – is really good; the people like to watch cricket.
“I got a chance to play for Guyana and this year I will be playing for St Lucia. I think the Caribbean is the best place to play T20 cricket and the people really like to enjoy the cricket.”
This year is the fifth year of the Hero CPL and and it just one of a number of successful T20 tournaments around the world. Unsurprisingly, Malinga is a big fan of the format.
“Because of its success, people are watching the matches all around the world. People are tuning into the matches because of the big-hitting batsmen and the cricket is exciting to watch. Big Bash, IPL and CPL is getting really good for future cricketers and the game of cricket is being played faster.
“I think T20 is really good and the game is faster now. T20 is very important to us because we have to use all our skill only for four overs.”
Malinga says bowling is harder than it was during the 2007 World Cup because batsmen are always looking to hit big shots. And contrary to the talk in recent years that art of bowling yorkers is going out of the game, Malinga says they are still the number one weapon for a fast bowler in T20 cricket.
“Definitely, because of the T20 game we need a change of pace and all the yorkers. Someone who can bowl good yorkers and the batsmen cannot hit it for sixes! Yorkers are very important for this game and change of pace.
“Everyone is looking to hit the big shots and the game is getting better. T20 cricket is a batters’ game because they can score 200 runs but bowlers have to be skillful and trust their skills during the game.”
You will be able to see Lasith Malinga in action for the St. Lucia Stars at the start of the Hero CPL, which kicks off August 4 in St Lucia.