Malinga joins Rajasthan Royals as a fast-bowling coach

Rajasthan Royals have roped in Lasith Malinga as their fast-bowling coach ahead of IPL 2022, and Paddy Upton as “Team Catalyst”.

Former Sri Lankan speedster Lasith Malinga has joined Rajasthan Royals as their fast-bowling coach for the upcoming edition of the Indian Premier League, which starts here on March 26. Rajasthan Royals on Friday also announced that Paddy Upton has joined the squad as a ‘Team Catalyst’. Malinga, who took 546 wickets in 340 matches across three formats for Sri Lanka and also led the country to the 2014 ICC T20 World Cup trophy, will be working with the talented group of pacers in the Royals’ set-up. “It’s a wonderful feeling for me to return to the IPL and an absolute honour to join Rajasthan Royals,” the 38-year-old Malinga.

IPL 2022: Rajasthan Royals Appoint Lasith Malinga as Fast Bowling Coach;  Paddy Upton as Team Catalyst
Credits: The Quint

“I am excited by the pace bowling unit we have going into the tournament and looking forward to supporting all the fast bowlers with the execution of their game plans and their overall development.” South African Paddy Upton, who had worked as the head coach of the franchise from 2013-15 and then in 2019, having led the team to top-four finishes in 2013 and 2015, along with a place in the Champions League in 2013, also returned to the Royals in a new role. Being the ‘Team Catalyst’, Upton will play a crucial role in establishing team integration by bringing them together as a cohesive and mutually supporting unit, and look after their mental well-being.

“Upton himself will be part of the bubble for the initial four weeks of the tournament, while supporting virtually post the completion of this period,” the release said. Like last season, Sri Lankan batting legend Kumar Sangakkara will be assuming the role of head coach during the upcoming season, while being the ‘Director of Cricket’ at the Royals outside of the season. “Lasith is arguably one of the greatest T20 fast bowlers of all-time, and to have a personality like his around the training ground, and the expertise he brings to the table, is certainly something we feel the team can benefit from,” said Sangakkara.

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Malinga, the lengend of IPL joins Royals with Sangakkara

Malinga, who retired as a player in 2021, is the highest wicket-taker in the IPL with 170 scalps across nine seasons for Mumbai Indians. In 2018, he was Mumbai’s bowling mentor as well, and earlier this year, he was appointed Sri Lanka’s bowling strategy coach for the T20I series in Australia. At Royals, Malinga will work alongside his former captain Kumar Sangakkara, who is the franchise’s head coach and director of cricket, and Steffan Jones, who was named as high-performance fast-bowling coach last week.

IPL 2022: Rajasthan Royals appoint legendary Lasith Malinga as fast bowling  coach | CricketTimes.com
Credits: Cricket Times

“It’s a wonderful feeling for me to return to the IPL and an absolute honour to join Rajasthan Royals, a franchise that has always promoted and developed young talent,” Malinga said. “I am excited by the pace bowling unit we have going into the tournament and looking forward to supporting all the fast bowlers with the execution of their game-plans and their overall development. I’ve made some very special memories in the IPL with Mumbai Indians and now with Royals, looking forward to new experiences and creating great memories in this journey.

“Upton returns to Royals having previously worked as their coach from 2013 to 2015 and then in 2019, leading them to a top-four finish in 2013 and 2015. He will be with the team for the first four weeks of the season, after which he will support them virtually.”Being the Team Catalyst, Upton will play a crucial role in establishing team integration by bringing them together as a cohesive and mutually supporting unit, and look after their mental well-being with the use of various mental conditioning processes and activities that aid in maintaining a healthy culture and environment, especially within the restrictions of being in a bio-bubble,” a Royals statement said.