Malinga quits Tests to try to extend his limited-overs career

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Sri Lanka fast bowler Lasith Malinga, whose unique slinging round-arm action brought him 101 wickets in 30 Tests, announced his retirement from Test cricket yesterday in an attempt to prolong his limited-overs career.

Malinga, 27, who is currently playing for the Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League, said he was fit to play one-day cricket but needed to carefully manage a "long-standing degenerative condition in my knee".

He had made himself unavailable for Sri Lanka's forthcoming tour of England, which prompted his board to ask him to return from the IPL to undergo rehabilitation. That sparked a club-versus-country debate, with Sri Lanka chief selector Duleep Mendis saying the situation was "awkward" and preferring Malinga to begin a rehabilitation program rather than carry on playing in the IPL. In a statement Malinga said he had sustained a chronic right-knee injury in Australia in February, 2008, which prevented him from playing one-day cricket for 16 months.

"The injury was a career-threatening injury and my orthopaedic surgeon was of the opinion that given his experience with other professional athletes in Australia I was very fortunate to play again," he said. "I have since been advised by the national team physiotherapist and my orthopaedic consultant that my condition will deteriorate when fielding or bowling for prolonged periods.

"I did try to return to Test cricket after a three-year absence last year following requests from the team management and the selectors, but it left me unfit and nursing severe knee pain for two months."

Malinga played 30 Tests, taking 101 wickets at an average of 33.15 after making his debut in 2004.