MUMBAI, April 22 (PTI): Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga, whose sling-arm bowling action and devastating yorkers proved to be a nightmare for batsmen the world over, today announced his retirement from Test cricket because of a �long-standing degenerative� knee injury.
Accused of choosing the cash-rich IPL ahead of national duties by his own cricket Board, the 27-year-old Malinga said that he would continue to be available for ODIs and Twenty20 games for his country. The surprise announcement from Malinga, regarded as the fastest bowler produced by Sri Lanka till date, is being interpreted as a move to put an end to the selection dispute with his cricket establishment which wanted him to return from the IPL for a rehabilation programme.
�Although I am sufficiently fit to play both ODI and T20 cricket, I have a long-standing degenerative condition in my right knee that needs to be carefully managed,� Malinga said in a statement.
�The condition relates directly to the chronic knee injury I sustained playing for Sri Lanka in Australia back in February 2008, an injury that prevented me from playing ODI cricket for 16 months,� he added.
Malinga, who pulled out of Sri Lanka�s upcoming Test tour of England citing fitness woes, has been leading the wicket�s tally for Mumbai Indians in the ongoing IPL.
His decision to pull out of the country�s Test tour irked Sri Lanka Cricket (SLC) officials, who found it �awkward� that he was continuing to play in IPL though he was not fit for national duty.