Injured Malinga unlikely to take part in IPL

India

Mumbai Indians coach Ricky Ponting says it is unlikely that Sri Lanka seamer Lasith Malinga will play any part in the upcoming IPL season for the defending champions.

The 32-year-old Malinga has not fully recovered from a long standing knee injury which ruled him out of the recent World T20 in India.

While Ponting said they would give the bowler with the sling action some time to recover, he is confident that they have the players to step up to replace Malinga, who is arguably the best paceman in the limited-overs format.

Ponting said: "If we need a replacement, it will be have to be named ahead of the fifth game. At this stage you have to say it is unlikely (Malinga playing).

"Malinga at his best has been one of the great performers in world cricket, both with new and old ball. He will be missed, but we have to think about who the best replacement will be.

"Will it be Marchant de Lange, will it be Tim Southee? Will we go in with three overseas batsmen? So there are headaches we have, which is a nice thing. If Malinga is ruled out, we have more than adequate replacement to fill his boots."

The IPL kicks off on Saturday with the Mumbai Indians at home to newcomers Rising Pune Supergiants.

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