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Sohel
July 2, 2007, 10:41 PM
From The Daily Star-

"Lasith lets his hair down
Bishwajit Roy from Colombo

Lasith Malinga has been considered as a 'surprise package' in Sri Lanka cricket. The 23-year-old hardly had any reputation in the domestic circuit before entering the national side.

Many said that he just came from the streets to represent the national side. He is also considered as the most improved bowler in recent time and became the most popular cricketer in his generation because of his brilliant performance in the World Cup as well as for his unusual hairstyle.

The young bowler talked with The Daily Star Sport's Bishwajit Roy after practice at the Nondescript Cricket Club ground yesterday.

DSS (Daily Star Sport): We just want to know about your action because it is the most talked about issue in world cricket.

LM (Lasith Malinga): It's my natural action. I have been bowling in that way since my childhood when I used the soft ball. I like this action and never tried to change it.

DSS: Had there been any problem when you went to your coach at first, as the action is unusual?

LM: No. Champaka Ramanayke (former Sri Lanka fast bowler who spotted him first from a street) always insisted that I bowled as fast as I could. He never told me to change my action but pressed me to bowl straight.

DSS: When did you start playing cricket?

LM: When I was 17 years old. I made a late start because I didn't like to bowl with the leather ball. I preferred the soft ball. But I got interested to bowl with the leather ball when everybody was telling me that otherwise I will not be able to play at any level. But you know, I still love to bowl with the soft ball.

DSS: We know that a fast bowler is always born and impossible to make someone a fast bowler...

LM: Everything came naturally to me. I always loved to bowl as fast as I can but it was not as straight in my early days.

DSS: How did you wrest control in your bowling?

LM: I have been playing for three years now. I think it's all about experience which has made everything possible for me. The more you bowl, more control you get.

DSS: You had a fiery opening spell against New Zealand in the World Cup semifinal. How do you rate that spell?

LM: Some of our selectors started saying that I can't swing the ball. In that match, I showed that I can do that too. I was really happy with that spell in the semifinal because it proved many things.

DSS: You were top in the World Cup with your performance. Have you enjoyed the tournament?

LM: I think so far it was my best performance because I took 18 wickets in eight matches. I really enjoyed the World Cup in West Indies. It also changed everything in my life because people now look at me wherever I go.

DSS: How excited were you when you took those four wickets off four balls against South Africa?

LM: Actually I only knew that it was a world record during the post-match press conference. It was a nice feeling to have taken four wickets in successive deliveries. It's really a fantastic experience. Actually I produced four quality deliveries including two slowers and a yorker to make it possible.

DSS: You are very popular in Bangladesh not only for your unusual bowling action but also for your hairstyle. Would you say something about your fashion?

LM: I love to do it. I never follow anyone so I have my own style. Even I can change my hairstyle before the start of the second Test match. Actually I love to do something unusual and that's my passion. I don't follow the latest fashion rather I always try to make something new.

DSS: But we learned that your mother doesn't love your hairstyle?.

LM: Yes (laughing), you are right."

oracle
July 3, 2007, 12:02 AM
When I was 17 years old. I made a late start because I didn't like to bowl with the leather ball. I preferred the soft ball. But I got interested to bowl with the leather ball when everybody was telling me that otherwise I will not be able to play at any level. But you know, I still love to bowl with the soft ball

17...Wow, he is a late starter. Wonder how much the soft ball had influenced his bowling action..

al Furqaan
July 3, 2007, 01:27 AM
its official...malinga wrecks our top order...

i'm a fan of his...